NSW may run voluntary trial of cashless gambling cards

The effectiveness of a voluntary system has been questioned.
The effectiveness of a voluntary system has been questioned.

Cashless gambling cards are still on the agenda, but now as a voluntary trial.

Australia.- After much criticism of a proposal to introduce mandatory cashless gambling cards in New South Wales, the government is now considering a voluntary trial. Labor Party leader Chris Minns, who had refused to commit to the proposal for a mandatory system has said his party would support a trial.

He said that could help avoid clubs being affected by a mandatory scheme.

According to The Guardian, Minns said: “We need a broader evidence base so that when we do make reforms and changes to the sector, we actually understand what the circumstances of those changes will be, what the impact will be on the clubs and pubs industry, what it will mean for those that work in that industry, and whether it will, in fact, work.”

However, anti-gambling advocates criticised the proposal, saying the system would only work if it is mandatory. Stu Cameron, chief executive of Wesley Mission, said a voluntary system launched in Victoria failed to work.

Cameron said: “Mandatory or universal cards mean everyone has to use them – stopping criminal activity and providing useful tools for people to help guard against gambling harm caused by poker machines, which have been designed to addict.”

The NSWCC had proposed a card system after reporting that criminals were “funnelling billions of dollars of ‘dirty’ cash through poker machines” in pubs and clubs every year.

ClubsNSW: cashless gambling cards would “treat punters like criminals”

Earlier this week, Josh Landis, ClubsNSW chief executive officer, said the proposal to introduce mandatory cashless gaming cards in NSW wouldn’t solve the problem of money laundering.

Landis said: “What’s happening is criminals are spending the proceeds of crime [on the pokies]. Guess what? They spend on everything from tattoos and handbags to jewellery and jetskis.”

He added: “The [NSW] Crime Commission has recommended a solution that only applies to pokie machines but has done nothing to resolve the broader issue of criminals spending money… You would solve crime in a heartbeat by locking everyone in their homes but we don’t allow it because we’re not a police state.

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