NSW government provides more details on gambling reform proposal

Premier Dominic Perrottet plans to make all gaming machines cashless within five years.
Premier Dominic Perrottet plans to make all gaming machines cashless within five years.

The government says it’s “one of the biggest gambling reforms ever undertaken in Australia”.

Australia.- The New South Wales coalition government has issued a press release detailing premier Dominic Perrottet‘s proposed gambling reforms, which include making gambling machines cashless by 2028.

According to the NSW Liberal and Nationals, if reelected in March, the government will undertake one of the biggest gambling reforms seen in Australia, with new safeguards and measures aimed at preventing money laundering.

Cashless gaming will be accompanied by features to control problem gambling, including required self-imposed limits, breaks in play and a ban on credit-card transfers and automatic top-ups. The reforms also include self-exclusions, third-party exclusions, a ban on VIP Lounge signage, and a ban on political donations from pubs and clubs.

Money laundering measures include requiring any new cash machine purchased after July 2023 to have a load-up (cash feed-in) limit of AU$500. The reforms will be codified into legislation and presented in Parliament this year.

An independent Transition Taskforce will be led by the secretary of the department of premier and cabinet. Operating from April 2023 to 2028, it will comprise representatives from key government agencies, industry players, and harm minimisation experts an will provide a plan to implement state-wide cashless gaming. The rollout is expected to begin in early 2024.

A regional fund of AU$40m will support regional pubs and clubs transition to cashless technology, and there will be a small venue fund of AU$20m.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said: “We make a once-in-a-lifetime change to create a better NSW. We address the number one recommendation from the Crime Commission and we will end money laundering in pubs and clubs while protecting jobs and supporting communities.

“We will also ensure people using poker machines receive more support, if they want it, to deal with problem gambling.  “Pubs and clubs are the lifeblood of so many communities across NSW and I want them to thrive, continue to grow and be a place for fun and enjoyment for everyone.

“My government will walk with our pubs and clubs every step of the way on this transition.”

Deputy premier Paul Toole added: “We’ve always said the path to cashless gaming should be a sensible one and recognise the difference between a big venue in the city and a small venue in the bush. This package delivers on that.

“It’s a comprehensive plan to tackle the issues identified by the Crime Commission and that provides the industry with the time, certainty and support to plan for the future. We’ve set a destination and this is a sensible road to get there.”

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