Rules Regulating Pokies Clubs

The gambling market is one of the more popular leisure markets in Australia. Over the years, hundreds of gaming clubs have appeared all over the country, offering players thousands of poker machines to choose from in order to satisfy their cravings for a little gambling action. While their presence is widespread, pokies clubs across the country are subject to a wide range of regulations in order to keep players safe.

Rules that poker machine clubs must abide by include the Responsible Service of Alcohol Guidelines (RSA). RSA rules ensure that bar staff and managers know how to responsibly serve alcohol to their patrons. They are instructed about the legal level of alcohol to include in their drinks and how to deal with intoxicated customers. Gaming club owners are instructed to employ a host to enforce RSA standards and must ensure that all staff members are prepared to deal with patrons who may be overly intoxicated.

Related to intoxication is the issue of glassing. According to New South Wales' Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, 'glassing' (attacking someone with a pint glass or beer bottle) is a serious situation that can occur in any venue where alcohol is served, including gaming clubs. Staff should be able to identify situations which may lead to potential glassings and security guards must be prepared to deal with an attack.

If players decide that they want to become intoxicated, then they may want to consider playing online pokies. Players can also smoke and take part in any other activities that may not be suitable in land-based gaming clubs. This is one of the most popular reasons that gamers turn to online poker machines.

When it comes to gaming, there are other rules that clubs must abide by. Firstly, all payouts must be made within 48 hours. Should players win significantly larger prizes, clubs are still required to award the actual prize within a reasonable time frame.

Gaming club staff must also be prepared to deal with disputes, such as those which occur over prize winnings. Should one player lay claim to another's winnings after they leave a machine, an argument may occur. The club's managers must intervene, using replays and security camera footage to determine the rightful owner of the prize.

Rules for poker machine clubs vary from state to state and each government determines the appropriate rules which must be followed by gaming club operators. In addition to gaming regulations, they must also adhere to safety laws, harm minimization guidelines and rules relating to customer comfort.

- Jake R. Taylor, Australasian Gambling Specialist