Cashless Pokies Roadmap To Create A Better NSW

By Gavin Harper Updated: March 2023

Premier Dominic Perrottet is ramping up his crusade to bring cashless pokies to New South Wales before the decade is out. Now that both parties have had their official campaign launches, the leaders are appealing to voters. There will be a series of debates where they outline their plans for the state. 

The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government announced a plan to eliminate money laundering in electronic gaming machines by making every poker machine cashless by December 31 2028-the trial phase is no longer a factor-this is a real concrete plan. This is in response to the NSW Crime Commission’s report on money laundering. 

Creating A Task Force To Work Together

To support this initiative, the government will establish an independent Transition Taskforce that will be operational from April 2023 to oversee the transition. We have been following the cashless gaming initiative and have read that it will be complemented by a range of harm minimization measures, including mandatory self-imposed limits, cooling-off periods, breaks in play, and prohibiting automatic top-ups. 

The transition will be supported by interest-free loans, grants, and other financial incentives for small and medium-sized pubs and clubs. Additionally, a one-off diversification grant of up to $50,000 will be paid to small and medium-sized pubs and clubs to support their pursuit of new revenue streams. 

The transition will also include other specific anti-money laundering measures, such as player identity verification linked to a single bank account and a load-up limit of $500 for any new cash machine purchased after July 2023.

How A Cashless Transition Will Benefit Australians

Perrotett said, ‘We address the number one recommendation from the Crime Commission, and we will end money laundering in pubs and clubs while protecting jobs and supporting communities.” His 8-point plan is outlined as follows:-

Eliminating money laundering: By supporting all 8 recommendations of the NSW Crime Commissioner to eliminate money laundering at pubs and clubs, a cashless transition will help to prevent illegal activities and promote a safer environment for customers.

Mandatory cashless gaming: introducing mandatory cashless gaming across all venues by 31 December 2028, through legislation, will reduce the risks associated with carrying cash and limit opportunities for fraud and theft.

Economic viability of venues: A cashless transition will protect the economic viability of venues across NSW, particularly in regional areas and border communities. Venues will be able to offer a more efficient and convenient payment experience to customers, encouraging them to return and spend more.

Support for community organizations: The transition to cashless payments will also provide support for community organizations through grants, which will enable them to continue delivering important services to the community.

Privacy protection: Legislating the strictest privacy protections for player data with no government or industry access to personalized player data, other than for law enforcement purposes (for example AUSTRAC), will help to protect customer privacy and prevent misuse of their information.

Cashless machines: Requiring that all new machines purchased once the full rollout commences being cashless will eliminate the need for cash handling and reduce the risks associated with cash handling, such as theft and fraud.

Optional buy-back scheme: Introducing an optional buy-back scheme targeted to acquire 2000 machines from venues over 5 years will help to incentivize venues to switch to cashless payment methods.

Political donation ban: Banning political donations from both pubs and clubs will help to promote transparency in the political process and prevent any undue influence on policy-making.

NSW Election Cashless Pokies

Problem Gambling-What Is The Plan To Help Problem Gamblers

Harm minimisation is an essential aspect of responsible gambling. It focuses on reducing the harm caused by gambling to individuals and their families. To achieve this goal, several measures have been proposed in Australia. Our online casino experts have discussed each of these points in detail and have considered how they can help reduce the harm gamblers inflict upon themselves.

Require players to set their own limits that cannot be increased for 7 days:

This measure will help gamblers set limits on their gambling activities, such as the amount of money and time they spend on playing. The limit can be set for a week, and it cannot be increased during that time. This will ensure that players do not spend more than they can afford, and it will help them avoid the negative consequences of excessive gambling, such as financial problems and mental health issues.

Mandate breaks in play and the ability for players to self-exclude:

This measure will help reduce the harm caused by gambling by giving players the option to take breaks during play. This will help them take a step back and reassess their gambling habits. Moreover, players will also have the ability to self-exclude, which means they can voluntarily ban themselves from gambling for a specific period or permanently.

Enable third-party exclusion by a family member:

This measure will help families intervene when they see a loved one struggling with problem gambling. Family members will have the option to exclude their loved ones from gambling venues, and this will help prevent them from further harm caused by gambling.

Implement a state-wide self-exclusion register:

This measure will provide a more comprehensive self-exclusion program that can be applied across the state. It will allow players to self-exclude from multiple venues simultaneously, reducing the likelihood of relapse.

Ban credit and automatic top-ups, with gaming funds, from a bank account:

This measure will help reduce the harm caused by gambling by preventing players from using a credit or automatic top-ups to continue gambling when they run out of money. The funds will only be allowed to flow from a registered bank account.

Perotett has stated, ‘We will also ensure people using poker machines receive more support, if they want it, to deal with problem gambling.” These measures can go a long way toward helping those who can’t really help themselves.

NSW -Great Place For A Night Out  

We all agree with Perotett that ‘Pubs and clubs are the lifeblood of so many communities across NSW and I want them to thrive, continue to grow and be a place for fun and enjoyment for everyone.” No one wants Australia to become a place where there is no fun- I love a real money casino so I hope that we can all continue gambling. Other people might want to do something different. The pubs and clubs we hold so dear will be able to diversify under this new plan. The communities will benefit in the long term.

Support measures for communities, organisations, pubs, and clubs include:

  • Interest-free loans for small and medium-sized pubs and clubs to cover the full cost of transition to cashless gaming.
  • Community grant program for small and medium-sized pubs and clubs to cover the full cost of non-tax deductible donations to grassroots organizations they sponsor. It is paid annually until 2028.
  • A one-off diversification grant of up to $50,000 for small and medium-sized pubs and clubs to support the pursuit of new revenue streams, such as live music and refurbishments.
  • A regional fund of $40 million to support regional pubs and clubs’ transition to cashless technology.
  • A small venue fund of $20 million to support small venues’ transition to cashless gaming.

Deputy Premier Paul Toole said ”’We’ve set a destination and this is a sensible road to get there.’ The Transition Taskforce wants to keep the puns and clubs open and whatever changes are made will be carefully monitored by dedicated experts. From what I can see, this is not a quick fix but a long, winding road to a healthier society where gambling is available for those who love a spin on a pokie and those who love a flutter on a race. I for one will be following events in NSW-these pokies reforms can help unite Australia-if they are successful then maybe the Federal Government can roll them out nationwide. We await the outcome of the election.