Who’s in Charge?
Queensland’s Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) has three divisions: Licensing, Compliance and Organisational services.
These three divisions are responsible for all aspects of licensing and compliance with regard to regulating casinos, charitable gambling, gaming machines (pokies), lotteries and wagering as laid out in the various legal Acts, Regulations and official Gaming Rules of Queensland.
The OLGR section of the Queensland government website includes a detailed compliance checklist for gaming licensees and permit-holders which covers licence conditions, gaming machines (pokies), advertising and much more.
Responsible and Problem Gambling
People employed in Queensland’s gaming industry must take a ‘Responsible service of gambling’ (RSG) training course and acquire certification.
Online RSG refresher courses make for interesting reading. Informative sections include: “Common gaming machine [pokie] myths dispelled” (‘Lucky’ items like a special shirt will make you win — NOT true); “How gaming machines work” (Gaming machines (pokies) earn revenue for venues; they are not designed to make money for players.)
There is also a very interesting page on identifying problem gambling. It begins with the simple but concise statement: “Problem gambling occurs when people have difficulty limiting the amount of money and time they spend gambling” and continues with detailed signs of healthy and problem gambling as well as things for friends, co-workers and family to watch out for.
Two links are provided for gambling support:
- Gambling Help Online is an Australian-wide website that provides free information and counselling;
- the Queensland government also provides Support for problem gambling which includes information on Self-exclusion as well as links and phone numbers to access free online, telephone or face-to-face counselling.
Detailed information on exclusion, whether instigated by the patron themselves or by the venue, is also available on the Queensland government website. This information includes exclusion compliance rules and obligations as well as all the relevant exclusion forms.
Some charitable gaming, like raffles and lucky envelopes require a licence; while others, such as football doubles and “funny money” nights do not. Poker is considered an unlawful game if gambling is involved and it is played outside of a casino.
Even if a game does not require a licence or permit, there are often legal obligations pertaining to the Criminal Code Act of 1899 that must be adhered to. Failure to comply with these will result in a hefty fine or imprisonment. See the government website for the full details on charitable gambling including which games do or do not require licences or permits, the relevant rules and regulations and the definition of “unlawful games” (games of chance, or a mix of skill and chance).
Queensland legally requires gaming advertising to be fact-based, not deceptive or misleading and not offensive or indecent. Gambling must not dominate the venue’s signage or ads.
The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) also investigates gambling provider related complaints.