Reaching the threshold

Reaching the threshold

By Bruce Gotterson

August 31, 2018

This article appeared in the August 2018 issue of Club Life.

In most cases, clubs who are purchasing gaming machine entitlements will also need to apply for a gaming machine threshold increase.

Relevantly, the recent amendments to the Gaming Machines Act have resulted in significant changes to the requirements for applying for and obtaining gaming machine threshold increases and the Local Impact Assessment (LIA) Scheme.

Areas in New South Wales are no longer classified by Local Government Area (LGA) boundaries. Instead, they are now classified by Local Statistical Areas (LSAs) which, in effect, comprise of one or more suburbs.

Similar to the former LGA classifications, the LSAs are classified as Band 1 (low risk), Band 2 (medium risk) or Band 3 (high risk) LSAs.

The Liquor & Gaming NSW website contains a free interactive map which allows you to check the LSA and Band for each club premises in NSW.

This column will deal with the situations when no LIA is required and where a Class 1 LIA is required.

Gaming Machine Threshold Applications – No LIA Required

An application to increase the gaming machine threshold can be made without a LIA if:

  • the application is made with an application to transfer gaming machine entitlements to the “buyer premises”; and
  • one or more of the following apply:
  1. the “buyer premises” is situated in a Band 1 LSA and the approval of the gaming threshold increase application will not lead to a gaming machine threshold increase at the “buyer premises” of more than 20 during the past 12 months; and
  2. the “buyer premises” and “seller premises” are situated in the same LSA;
  3. the “buyer premises” and “seller premises” are situated in the same LSA and the LSA of the “seller premises” is the same or ranked higher than the LSA of the “buyer premises”;
  4. the “buyer premises” and the “seller premises” are in adjoining LSAs (whether or not they are in the same LGA) and the LSA of the “seller premises” is the same or ranked higher than the LSA of the “buyer premises”.

For the purposes of paragraphs (c) and (d) above, a Band 1 LSA is ranked lower than both Band 2 LSA and Band 3 LSA and a Band 2 LSA is ranked lower than a Band 3 LSA.

After the application is approved, the club will be required to notify certain stakeholders that the application has been approved. This notification will take the form of a local impact statement and must be given to those stakeholders within 1 month of the application being approved.

Gaming Machine Threshold Applications – Class 1 LIA Required

A Class 1 LIA must be lodged with a gaming threshold increase application if the “buyer premises”:

  • is situated in a Band 1 LSA and the club is applying for a mid-range gaming machine threshold increase (i.e. an increase of 21 to 40 gaming machine entitlements); or
  • is situated in a Band 2 LSA and the club is applying for a low-range gaming threshold increase (i.e. an increase of up to 20 gaming machine entitlements).

In next month’s column, I will look at when a Class 2 LIA is required and other restrictions on gaming machine threshold increases.

 

For more information please contact Bruce Gotterson on 8251 7777 or at b.gotterson@pigott.com.au.

This article is intended to provide general information in summary form on a legal topic, current at the time of publication.  The contents do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Formal legal advice should be sought in specific circumstances.