Report released on first NSW cashless gaming trial

Report released on first NSW cashless gaming trial

Campaigners say the trial had minimal impact.

Australia.- A report has been released on the first cashless gaming trial in New South Wales. The trial took place at Wests New Lambton, an entertainment venue in Hunter, from October 2022 to June 2023. It involved 144 machines, allowing players to transfer funds from a digital wallet on their smartphones.

The technology had responsible gambling features, an option to set limits. However, the report based on post-trial interviews prepared by professor Paul Delfabbro from the University of Adelaide on behalf of Liquor and Gaming NSW (L&GNSW) suggested little impact on player behaviour. Most players reporting no significant changes in the amount of time or money spent on gambling. The venue did not report any changes in revenue. 

The report also stated that the technology worked well after some initial issues during the sign-up process. However, participants showed a tendency to return to their usual gaming habits. It was observed that players were reluctant to give up their preferred gambling methods. However, less than one-third of the 260 participants involved responded to the post-trial survey. Of the ten people who tested the limit-setting feature, five breached the limit set.

The CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Carol Bennett, has argued that the trial should have included more harm-reduction features such as mandatory cashless cards and play limits. 

An expanded cashless gaming trial is now underway at 4,500 machines across 28 venues. The initiative is under the oversight of the Independent Panel on Gaming Reform established by the NSW government last July. The panel will report its findings to the government in November. 

In this article: