NSW PM rules out exemptions to cashless gaming card policy

Perrottet and Toole had already expressed disagreement on the issue in November.
Perrottet and Toole had already expressed disagreement on the issue in November.

National Party leader Paul Toole had said he was in conversation with the government in a bid to exclude non-metropolitan areas.

Australia.- New South Wales prime minister Dominic Perrottet has ruled out the possibility that non-metropolitan areas could be exempt from the state’s cashless gaming card policy. His denial comes after Nationals leader and deputy premier Paul Toole said he had discussed the possibility with the Perrottet government.

Perrottet and Toole had already expressed disagreement on the issue in November, with the former in favour of introducing mandatory cashless gaming cards and Toole insisting that the technology was not ready.

Independent Murray MP Helen Dalton had warned that making the reforms only in metropolitan area would lead to an influx of people to gamble outside cities, similar to Albury in Victoria before slot machines were legalised. Dalton said there would continue to be an “injection” of money into machines in regional NSW, leading to a wider gap between regional and remote areas and Sydney.

Dr Charles Livingstone, a gaming policy expert at Monash University, also warned against the division by region, arguing that the only sensible division would be to make the change at large club and pub chains first. He suggested that cashless gaming could be incorporated into such clubs’ loyalty programs.

He said: “There are big regional clubs as big as some of the Sydney clubs. Cutting that out of the equation would not make much sense. [Pokies have] the same effects in Albury as you would expect it to have in Fairfield.

“Hit the big clubs and the commercial pubs first because they have the wherewithal to do it. In a way, that would also provide us with a bit of a trial to make sure that we’re working properly before you got to the statewide rollout.”

NSW Labor Leader promises gambling reforms in event of election win

Labor leader Chris Minns has said that if the NSW Labor Party win the election in March, it will introduce a series of gambling reforms. Through Twitter, Minns said it will be “the most comprehensive reform package in NSW history.”

The plan includes reducing the number of poker machines in the state by requiring one poker machine to be forfeited for every two machines traded between a pub or club. Currently, one machine is forfeited for every three traded. Minns said he would appoint a panel of experts to oversee a test of the new technology.

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