February 14, 2023 3 min read

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Endeavour Group CEO Positive on Cashless Gambling for Poker Machines

Steve Donohue, CEO of Endeavour Group, the largest operator of electronic poker machines in Australia, welcomed the introduction of cashless gambling for poker machines

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that according to Donohue, the recent regulatory changes regarding cashless gambling in Australia are a natural progression for the industry. 

Endeavor CEO Sees Cashless Gaming as a Natural Progression

The CEO of Endeavour stated that the gambling industry has undergone several regulatory reforms in the past and the changes ahead are no different. Donohue added that the transition away from cash is a growing trend, citing the shift in the Australian economy towards digital payments.

Donohue downplayed the risk of the cashless gambling reform to the more than 300 bistros and 900 bars that the company operates across Australia. He said that his company is open to working with the government and regulators to facilitate the transition to cashless gambling in the other parts of the hotel experience, including gaming.

Endeavour Group’s gaming operations generate about AUD 220.5 million ($153.6 million) for the company, representing almost a quarter of its total earnings before interest. Endeavour Group’s profits surged in H1 2022. Net profits after tax increased by 17% to AUD 364 million ($253.6 million), while group earnings before interest and tax grew by 15.8% to AUD 644 million ($448.6 million). 

Sales rose to AUD 6.5 billion ($4.5 billion), a 2.6% increase. The retail division’s earnings fell by 9.3%, but the hotel business earnings more than doubled, which can be attributed to the growing demand for hospitality services as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

The Introduction of Cashless Poker Machines Faced Criticism

The proposed reform plan to make all poker machines cashless by December 31, 2028, has been met with criticism by some pubs and club operators who claim that the state government does not know the full costs of its sweeping gambling reform.

Initially, the NSW Crime Commission conducted a report on Money Laundering via EGMs in Pubs and Clubs and proposed a cashless card solution to tackle the issue. However, some politicians challenged the report’s findings, while others were more cautious in their remarks. The NSW Crime Commissioner criticized those who disregarded the significance of the report’s conclusions.

ClubsNSW, the representative industry body, expressed dissatisfaction with the proposal. According to them, the cards would adversely impact patrons and not address the underlying issue of anti-money laundering. Although not entirely against cashless cards, the Labour Party suggested expanding the trial to include pubs and clubs to obtain more robust evidence. However, NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet’s plan gained unanimous support at a cabinet meeting last Sunday. Perrottet insists that the time for trials is over and the time for delivery is now.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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