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NSW Government expands trial of cashless gambling

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As part of the ongoing reforms in gambling, New South Wales’ (NSW) state government agreed to extend a trial for cashless games.

In Q1 2024, the expanded trial of cashless will begin in NSW. The trial will include approximately 4,500 cashless machines in 28 hotels and clubs across 24 local governments metropolitan and regions.

The independent panel that was established to oversee the gambling reform of NSW in July recommended this expansion. More than 250 gaming machines have been tested for cashless games at Wests Newcastle, Club York and Club York.

Minimum requirements for participation in the extended trial include protection against harm minimisation, protection from money laundering, and protections of data security, privacy, and confidentiality. Five technology companies have been approved conditionally to take part in an extended trial.

Reform proposals will be supported by cashless data

All data will be evaluated by the independent panel. The data will help the panel to create its reform report that is due to be delivered to government in November 2024.

David Harris, NSW Minister for Gaming and Racing, stated that the trial was larger, wider and delivered nine times as many machines than what we had committed during our election campaign. The independent panel lit up the next stage in our reform agenda.

The strong interest shown by clubs and hotels in taking part in the trial of cashless gaming shows how seriously they are working with government officials to reduce the harm caused by gambling and the money laundering that is associated with electronic gaming devices.

The industry has clearly backed us in our landmark reforms of gaming as part of the commitment we have made to combat money laundering and gambling damage in NSW.

Michael Foggo, the panel chair, said: “The large number of applicants for this trial has encouraged the independent panel, which is comprised of key representatives from industry, law-enforcement, the community, and harm-minimisation.

This shows the genuine commitment of the gambling industry to this trial and the fight against money laundering and harm caused by gambling. In the months to come, we look forward working with trial participants and monitoring this project.

Wider gambling reform in NSW

Cashless gambling is part of the current reforms in gaming that are being implemented by the State. NSW has implemented a number of reforms in order to prevent gambling harm and money laundering.

These include reducing cash input limit from AU$5,000 (PS2,628/EUR3,052/US$2,355) to $500 for all new poker machines. The new limit is set to take effect on 1 July of next year.

State-wide, the gaming machine entitlements have also been reduced by over 3,000. A ban on donations to political parties from gaming clubs has also been implemented.

The removal of VIP gaming signs in NSW is another change. In addition, the government has committed $100m to gambling harm reduction over the next 4 years.

The NSW government confirmed last month that tax rates would be increasing for casinos located on land. In principle, the government has agreed to a smaller increase of rates for summer. The rates are now confirmed, and they will be effective as of 1 July.

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