October 8, 2020 3 min read


Gambling Cards May Be Devastating for Pubs and Clubs, Warns Former NSW Labor Leader

According to the former NSW Labor leader, Michael Daley, the newly proposed gambling cards may be devastating for pubs and clubs. The leader of Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, Robert Borsak, and Bankstown Labor MP Tania Mihailuk also oppose the gambling cards.

Gambling Cards May Be Devastating for Pubs and Clubs

According to the former New South Wales (NSW) Labor leader, Michael Daley, the gambling cards may be devastating for small businesses such as pubs and clubs. The statement came as a response to the NSW government’s plan to transition to completely cashless poker machines. According to the new plan, each player must register to receive a government-issued gambling card.

Some of these measures could really devastate pubs and clubs at a time when their survival is under threat and protecting jobs is paramount,”

Michael Daley

Then gamblers will have to pre-load money to the card which will operate in a similar way to the NSW cashless Opal cards used at the public transport. But besides the registration, the gambling card is also going to be linked to the state’s gambling exclusion register. This enhanced method for control is aiming at reducing gambling harm and individuals who have self-excluded will be blocked. On top of that, the new gambling card system is planned to be overseen by the Privacy Commissioner.

But Mr. Daley argued that the Berejiklian government must try to save jobs in the gambling sector rather than introduce such changes. He acknowledged that there is a willingness to face problem gambling. However, according to Mr. Daley the “recent announcements by Victor Dominello reek of the greyhounds debacle where an entire industry was ambushed without consultation.” In conclusion, he shared his concern about civil liberties, considering that the government may be recording biometrics or track people’s activities with the gambling card.

The New Cashless Solution Faces Further Opposition

Robert Borsak, leader of Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers was doubtful that the gambling card can fix NSW’s problem gambling. He compared the gambling card to a magic bullet, saying that it cannot fix the gambling behavior in the state. Instead, Borsak offered ironically that NSW smart ID reach is expanded so that people are tracked wherever they go.

The economic impact on NRL and AFL sporting clubs, on community RSLs, bowling clubs, country pubs and their community support activities will be devastating,”

Robert Borsak

Supporting the opposition of the new methods for control of gambling was shown by Bankstown Labor MP Tania Mihailuk. She criticized the NSW government plan by saying that the new control method “isn’t about stopping gambling“. Instead, according to Ms. Mihailuk, the new measures are going to kill the local clubs.

In an interview for 2GB, the ClubsNSW chief executive Josh Landis outlined that this is not a good time for the introduction of “expensive solutions” on clubs. He said the industry will support the government in reducing gambling harm, but those measures need to be “affordable and effective”. With that in mind, the NSW Australian Hotels Association is yet to comment on the newly proposed gambling cards.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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