PARTS of the North West region could be subjected to gambling caps if proposed poker machine reforms pass in state parliament.
In a bold move on Tuesday, NSW Racing Minister Paul Toole announced the number of machines in "higher risk" communities would be capped under new problem gambling reforms.
It could mean venues in the Coledale area of West Tamworth, Taminda and Westdale could have their poker machine numbers capped after the areas were deemed high risk.
The Liverpool Plains and portions of Gunnedah, Moree and Inverell could also face the sanctions.
The North, South and East Tamworth suburbs were classified as "medium risk" meaning they can apply for a gaming machine threshold increase without further impact assessment.
The Tamworth Local Government area was previously classified as low risk. The reforms are part of an overhaul of the old Local Impact Assessment scheme that regulated gaming machine movements.
It places a great deal of emphasis on social economic impacts and the problems of gambling are more likely to be felt in those areas.- Rod Laing
The new system would use Australian Bureau of Statistical Zones instead of Council areas with an emphasis on vulnerable areas.
Wests' Entertainment Group CEO Rod Laing said, from face value, he was concerned of what future implications the new scheme would have in a growing regional centre and the potential for more venues to be established across the city.
“It places a great deal of emphasis on social economic impacts and the problems of gambling are more likely to be felt in those areas,” he said.
"I don't know if too many venues are concerned about increasing their gaming machine numbers, but what it may do for the future.
"For argument's sake we have new subdivisions opening up all the time and by spreading that out does it prohibit you from opening up a sattelite pub in a case like the arcadia estate or a licensed tavern? The future is a bit concerning in that regard."
Reforms also include a leasing scheme for machines held by small venues as a new pathway for them to go machine-free and streamlined regulation of clubs.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.