NSW Seeks New Safe Gambling Options as Cashless Gambling Card Flops

By Ralph Trayfalgar, Updated:

The state of New South Wales in Australia has committed to making real money casino gambling safer for it’s customers. However, a proposal to provide a cashless gambling card may have been shelved while the government considers other options.

The initial idea for the cashless gambling card, which was proposed by Customer Service and Digital Minister Victor Dominello, made a lot of sense when it was introduced back in 2020. 

His proposal coincided with a strong push for cashless gambling, with venues across the state adopting such solutions. The idea of a cashless gaming card resurfaced during the Crown Resorts investigation, which revealed serious gaps in addressing and enforcing anti-money laundering practices in favour of allowing VIP customers to keep paying.

New Leadership

Having stepped down from his position, Dominello is no longer a part of the committee pushing for the concept. Instead, the effort is currently being led by Kevin Anderson, Minister of Hospitality and Racing. Those opposed to the planned cashless casino payments appeared to favour Anderson's selection and were pleased to see Dominello's departure, who was considered a bit of a firebrand by some of the more conservative advocates.

Unlike his predecessor, Anderson is opposed to the government providing a mandatory cashless gambling card, believing that such a concept would not help anyone. Instead, Anderson proposed that the card could be given to gamblers on an opt-in basis - for example, gamblers who fear they are at danger of excessive gambling, for example, would be able to self-exclude with the card.

Doubtful Effectiveness

It remains to be seen whether this concept would be adopted by the government. An ongoing NSW Crime Commission investigation is attempting to determine the influence of organized crime on the gambling sector since there is rising evidence that syndicates are laundering filthy money through pokie games in the state.

Many industry stakeholders, including hotels, nightclubs, and pokie machine venues, have slammed the government and warned authorities against making any potentially disruptive steps that would cost the business a lot of money. 

Justin Field, an independent MP, has mocked the concept of providing a voluntary opt-in element, saying that no criminal would consider opting into such a scheme. However, Anderson seemed to be emphasizing the argument in favour of problem gamblers, whereas Dominello's cashless gaming card was intended to benefit customers while also limiting the extent of crimes. 

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