NSW could introduce opt-in digital payments instead of cashless cards

Authorities in NSW had started to test cashless slot machines last year.
Authorities in NSW had started to test cashless slot machines last year.

Authorities in New South Wales are analysing the possibility of introducing opt-in digital payments for slot machines.

Australia.- The NSW government’s plan to introduce mandatory cashless playing cards for slot machines could be scrapped and replaced with an opt-in digital payment system. However, critics say the move could pose money laundering risks.

Cashless poker machines were first introduced by Victor Dominello, customer service minister in 2020. Newcastle clubs launched a trial of cashless gambling, with The New Lambton club the first venue to test cashless slot machines.

Cashless gambling was also encouraged by former Supreme Court judge Patricia Bergin in her report following New South Wales’ inquiry into Crown Resorts’ suitability to hold its licence for its new Sydney casino. She sad cashless cards could help fight money laundering.

However, Dominello was eventually replaced in a cabinet reshuffle in December 2021, and his position was taken by Kevin Anderson. Anderson doesn’t support government control of cashless gaming, or it being mandatory. However, he supports digital payments on an “opt-in” basis.

However, NSW upper house independent MP Justin Field said: “The idea that organised criminals would ‘opt in’ to a digital wallet is fanciful nonsense that will keep open the door to money laundering through poker machines in NSW.”

200,000 Australian children exposed to parental gambling, study finds

Dr Aino Suomi, director of the Centre for Gambling Research at the Australian National University has released a study about gambling behaviours. It found almost 200,000 Australian children are exposed to moderate or serious levels of harmful gambling by a parent each year.

According to the study, 10 per cent of Australian parents had engaged in some level of risky gambling in the past year. Suomi said that despite acknowledging the negative effects of gambling on children, there has been little research to quantify the magnitude of the problem in Australia.

Nearly 60,000 children face the highest levels of parental gambling problems, which can lead to significant harm. At the other end of the scale, nearly half a million children were exposed to lower-risk parental gambling, the study found.

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