February 6, 2023 3 min read


NSW Premier Proposes $235M Overhaul of the Gambling Industry

New South Wales premier Dominic Perrottet has devised a plan to inject over AUD 340 million ($235 million) into revamping the state's gambling sector

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that this will mark the most extensive overhaul of social, community, and law enforcement in the state’s history.

Perrottet Proposes $50,000 Grants to Pubs and Clubs

On February 6, NSW premier Dominic Perrottet announced a revolutionary plan to phase out traditional currency use on all poker machines in the state within the next five years. This marks the most substantial alteration to the gambling industry in NSW since the legalization of poker machines in 1956.

Perrottet’s initiative includes provisions for small and medium-sized venues to acquire new cashless technology machines through no-interest loans. Additionally, pubs and clubs will receive one-time $50,000 grants to support the creation of new sources of income, such as live music and food, thus reducing their dependency on revenues from gambling activities.

The proposed changes include a measure to ban individuals suspected of criminal activity from accessing venues equipped with poker machines. Furthermore, the government plans to establish new gambling limits, chosen by the player, which will be fixed for seven days after being set. The aim is to also enhance data collection from these machines.

Perrottet stated that the driving force behind this overhaul did not stem from a desire to suppress the industry but instead to promote responsible gambling practices. Despite concerns, Perrottet emphasized that the reforms would not result in job loss or a decline in revenue for NSW pubs and clubs due to the shift towards cashless gambling.

Cashless Gaming Cards Are a Hot Subject in Australian Politics

The debate around the introduction of cashless cards for electronic gaming machines (EGMs) has been going on for the past few months with many voices for and against it. 

The proposal for the cashless card solution originally came from the NSW Crime Commission, which compiled a report on Money Laundering via EGMs in Pubs and Clubs. Initially, several politicians publicly challenged the findings of the investigation, while others were more reserved in their remarks, which led NSW Crime Commissioner Michael Barnes to criticize them for disregarding the significance of the findings of the report.

ClubsNSW, the representative industry body, was also dissatisfied with the proposal to introduce cashless payment cards for on-site gambling at poker machines. The organization believes that this will have a negative effect on patrons and will not address the underlying issue of anti-money laundering.

While not opposing cashless cards altogether, the Labour Party stated that a trial should be expanded to include pubs and clubs for a stronger evidence base. Head of Labor, Chris Minns, argued cashless cards could cause harm and contribute to problem gambling, citing a 2020 report by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.


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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