Victoria urged to follow NSW cashless gambling policy

The NSW PM plans to make all gaming machines cashless within five years.
The NSW PM plans to make all gaming machines cashless within five years.

An associate professor and gambling policy expert says a similar cashless gambling system should be applied in Victoria.

Australia.- Charles Livingstone, a Monash University associate professor and gambling policy expert has recommended that the state of Victoria follow New South Wales’ lead in making all gambling machines become cashless.

NSW premier Dominic Perrottet has announced cashless gambling will be introduced in the state by 2028 if the coalition government is re-elected in March. Livingstone says a similar policy in Victoria could prevent money laundering and reduce problem gambling. He noted that players could set upfront limits on how much they are willing to lose.

Victoria has introduced its voluntary YourPlay system in 2015, which gives players the ability to control the amount they spend and the duration of their play on poker machines. Gaming and liquor regulation minister Melissa Horne, says the state is focused on carrying out the recommendations of the royal commission and that the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission is responsible for overseeing all gambling and gaming activities in the state. 

Horne said the government will continue to monitor harm minimisation arrangements at hotels and clubs to ensure that the appropriate regulatory settings are in place and reserves the right to make additional changes if necessary.

New South Wales’ cashless gaming policy

The proposed policy in New Soth Wales 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.

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