The government aims to reduce gambling harm and combat money laundering.
Australia.- Authorities in New South Wales have announced a plan to introduce cashless gaming machines next month. Wests Group’s Newcastle club will be the first venue to test the new cashless technology for three months. The trial will begin with 38 slot machines from Aristocrat Leisure.
One of the main objectives of the government is to reduce problem gambling and limit the opportunities for criminals to launder funds. Cashless gambling was 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 said cashless cards could help fight money laundering.
The cashless technology will be linked to the player’s identity and bank account. It also involves a Bluetooth connection between the player’s phone and the machine, allowing funds to be transferred directly from the phone to the machine. Other features include technology that forces customers to leave the gaming area to transfer money.
NSW hospitality and racing minister Kevin Anderson said: “The trials will explore different technologies and solutions with the common goal of addressing harm minimization and anti-money laundering.”
Anti-gambling groups welcomed the introduction of cashless gaming but warned the measure would need to cover most of the state’s 95,000 electronic slot machines to have a real impact on organised crime and gambling harm.
NSW launches “The Number that Changed our Life” campaign
Meanwhile, the NSW government has launched “The Number that Changed our Life” campaign. It specifically targets the Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Arabic and Hindi-speaking communities. It covers TV, radio, print and social media and has been designed to encourage people from these communities to seek help when they need it.
Anderson said: “Even though culturally and linguistically diverse communities gamble less than the general population in New South Wales, they are more vulnerable to gambling harm and experience more gambling problems than the general community.”