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Deyan Dimitrov December 14, 2023 3 min read
NSW Significantly Bolsters the Scope of Its Cashless Gambling Trial
The newest update will encompass nearly 4,500 poker machines across 24 local government areas starting early next year
Liquor & Gaming New South Wales announced it would substantially expand its cashless gambling trial, expressing hope for the program’s success amid rising interest from clubs and other venues. This update bodes well for the Australian province, which suffers from record problem gambling rates and still struggles to regulate unscrupulous businesses.
The Government Will Collect Valuable Data
Cashless gaming has been one of the hot topics of the gambling industry in the Australian state for nearly a year. Many believe that the statewide implementation of the technology will help to prevent gambling-related fraud while protecting at-risk consumers from harm. Liquor & Gaming NSW has also remained optimistic, organizing the trial to test cashless gaming’s real-world viability.
July saw the government appoint Michael Foggo, a former liquor, gaming, and racing commissioner, to lead a panel of 16 industry representatives and reform advocates who will oversee the trial. This group will report its findings back to the government by November 2024. Premier Chris Minns has pledged transparency, stating that the panel’s findings will be publicly available.
The trial will involve collecting data from the machines, analyzing the effects on patrons, and will evaluate the impact on club and hotel employees. This in-depth review will also assess infrastructure requirements and potential costs, forming a comprehensive picture of cashless gaming. If successful, the government pledged to prioritize implementing the measure.
Cashless Gaming Enjoys Substantial Industry Support
Gambling Minister David Harris lauded the trial’s expansion, highlighting that it encompassed nine times more machines than the initial proposal. He was optimistic regarding the rising number of clubs showing interest in participating, hoping this fact reflected a genuine commitment by the entertainment industry to tackle gambling harm and money laundering.
The industry is clearly behind us as we undergo these landmark gaming reforms as part of our commitment to addressing money laundering and gambling harm in NSW.David Harris, NSW Gambling Minister
The regional government’s unwavering commitment is a welcome sign for NSW residents who have lost AUD 8.07 billion ($5.42 billion) to poker machines in the last financial year, representing a worrisome 23.7% increase from 2018-19. These statistics underscore the urgent need for decisive action within the state and place substantial hope in the success of the cashless gambling trials.
Despite facing frequent criticisms for their lack of decisiveness, the NSW government has made substantial progress in the last few months. The state’s new ban on external gambling signs has been among its most successful initiatives, as a recent probe uncovered that nearly 99% of the inspected pubs and clubs complied with the new regulations. One can only hope that cashless gaming will enjoy the same results.