NSW cashless gambling trial could be expanded to 3,000 machines

The trial is expected to commence before November.
The trial is expected to commence before November.

The trial was originally to cover 500 machines in clubs and pubs.

Australia.- Michael Foggo, the head of the panel that will oversee the New South Wales government’s cashless gambling trial is calling for an expansion of the programme to include 3,000 machines instead of 500.

Foggo said a larger sample size was essential for “proper research analysis” of the cashless gambling scheme. The former New South Wales Liquor, Gaming and Racing commissioner said broadening the trial to encompass a wider range of situations and venues would provide more comprehensive data.

The proposed expansion would represent approximately 4 per cent of the state’s total gaming machines, which Foggo deemed a reasonable size for meaningful analysis. Foggo will lead a panel of 16 industry representatives and reform advocates over the course of 15 months, culminating in a report to the government in November next year.

Foggo hopes the trial will demonstrate the viability of cashless gambling as an option for the state. The panel will alsoprovide guidance on the use of facial recognition technology, the self-exclusion register and technical and system standards.

Premier Chris Minns said during a press conference: “This is the first time that those who are passionately in favour of harm minimisation and gambling reform, as well as industry, have served on the same panel at the same time.

“Independent panel members that, in the end, don’t agree with the recommendations are free to produce a minority report so that it can be litigated in the public space.”

Advocates for gambling reform welcomed the establishment of the panel. Wesley Mission and the New South Wales Council of Social Services emphasised the importance of a comprehensive and robust trial to reduce ambiguity in results.

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