Liquor and gaming reform
In 2015, the the NSW Government announced a reform to improve the regulation of the liquor and gaming industries.
The structural reform was necessary to improve governance structures so that decision making and processes are aligned with the government's goals, and properly support government harm reduction policy settings.
The reform focused on the establishment of a new fit for purpose regulator, as well as improving processes and transparency. It did not change the policy settings for the regulated sectors. It aimed to significantly improve licensing processes and efficiency, reduce confusion, enhance service quality and customer convenience and improve communication with stakeholders.
The key reform changes included:
- A new fit for purpose regulator, Liquor & Gaming NSW was created within the Department of Justice, replacing the Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing (OLGR) and the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) staff.
- This model retained and refocused ILGA, as a Board, as an independent statutory decision maker, while transferring administrative and processing functions to Liquor & Gaming NSW. To ensure timely and transparent decision making, ILGA is subject to ministerial direction on administrative matters, such as the frequency of meetings, allowing the government to intervene where appropriate to address any delays in decision making.
ILGA retained its legislative responsibilities in relation to liquor and gaming licensing and disciplinary decision, but will delegate lower level, non-contentious decisions and decision making in relation to routine and high volume licensing applications to staff within Liquor & Gaming NSW.
Compliance monitoring of the casino was absorbed into Liquor & Gaming NSW.
A separate Office of Racing was established within the Liquor, Gaming & Emergency Management Division. This office is responsible for racing policy and governance, including management of the relationships with the controlling bodies. Wagering policy and compliance functions remained with Liquor & Gaming NSW.
- Delegated decisions made by Liquor & Gaming NSW will be subject to an internal review by ILGA in limited circumstances, and non-delegated licensing decisions made by ILGA will be subject to review by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
All information relating to liquor and gaming regulation, including ILGA decisions, is located on one website operated by Liquor & Gaming NSW.
Liquor & Gaming NSW was created on 1 February 2016. This reform is now in the final stages of implementation.