Labor candidate proposes cashless gambling trial in Sydney

Premier Dominic Perrottet has pledged for all gambling machines in NSW to become cashless by 2028.
Premier Dominic Perrottet has pledged for all gambling machines in NSW to become cashless by 2028.

The Australian Labor party has suggested that cashless gambling should be trialled in Sydney’s western suburbs.

Australia.- Labor’s candidate for South Coast, Liza Butler, has proposed the implementation of a cashless gambling trial in western Sydney before expanding it to other regions in New South Wales. She made the comments during a “meet the candidates” event at Husky Sports in Huskisson. 

Butler highlighted that the cultural groups in western Sydney were more prone to gambling problems and that rolling out cashless gambling to these areas first would enable them to self-regulate and prevent problem gamblers from moving to online platforms. 

In February, premier Dominic Perrottet pledged that all gambling machines in New South Wales would become cashless by 2028 if the coalition government was re-elected in March. However, NSW Labor wants a trial of 500 machines to ensure the technology is effective and doesn’t have unintended consequences. 

Chris Minns, Labor’s leader, has previously said he would use the advice of an independent committee to decide the best places to host the trial. However, the top three local government areas with the highest poker machine losses in 2022 were all in southwestern Sydney, with Canterbury Bankstown, Fairfield, and Cumberland topping the list. The Shoalhaven LGA, which covers a large part of the South Coast state electorate, recorded the sixth-highest poker machine losses in regional NSW. 

The NSW Crime Commission recommended the introduction of a cashless card to prevent money laundering through poker machines after concluding that criminals were “funnelling billions of dollars of ‘dirty’ cash through poker machines” in pubs and clubs every year. 

However, Butler told The Sydney Morning Herald that money laundering was extremely rare. She also said the government should take action against pubs that displayed VIP signage outside their premises, which she said was illegal. 

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