Pokies Reform Should Unite Australia

By Ryan White Updated: February 2023

Pokies Reform has been brought to the forefront of the upcoming state elections. A few days after NSW Premier Domonic Perrottet announced the Liberal Party’s firm stance on gambling reform. Leader of the opposition, Chris Mimns has thrown his hat into the ring and also committed his Labor Party to promising changes to the gambling industry.

Minns is committed to trialling changes in some 500 machines across the state’s pubs and clubs. He will look at differing cashless technologies as well as limiting cash feeds in pokies. He also wants to ban external advertising of pokies. This policy is a little more cautious but it is clear that there is a need for reform and the people are supportive of this. The ban Minns is calling for on political donations from clubs that have pokies is the strongest statement yet.

Pokies Reform Is An Australian Political Issue

Pokies reform is on the political agenda. It has been revealed that Star Entertainment supports the NSW Premier’s initiative to convert poker machines to cashless technology. Many are saying that the NSW government should be “applauded” for trying to reform gambling laws.

Dominic Perrottet has reiterated his proposal for cashless gaming in the territories’ pubs, clubs, and casinos. He wants action and to make this issue at the forefront of the elections in NSW. 

Unions NSW Want Cashless Gaming  

‘A no-brainer’: The Unions of  NSW fully endorse Perrottet’s drive towards cashless pokies. He called this a “significant and important reform” when speaking at the SCG. He went on to say that we “can’t have people profiting from others’ misery.” He was very clear that cashless gaming is the way to go. He wants to “work with the industry to protect jobs according to The Herald.

Star Casino Backs Cashless Pokes

Star Casino, the largest casino operator in Sydney and an Australian heavyweight, is strongly endorsing the NSW Premier’s calls for greater use of cashless techniques for poker machines. Star has already agreed with the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) to complete this transition in May 2021 as part of its commitment to promote responsible gaming

In a report on Yogonet Star’s competitors Crown Resorts are also obliged to undertake the same change, following a regulator’s inquiry which found that the casino had not been meeting anti-money laundering standards and was therefore not fit to hold a license. Star Casino is dedicated to ensuring that problem gambling doesn’t ruin lives or have dire consequences on the community; transitioning to cashless technology is an important part of their strategy.

A spokesperson for Star said  “Unless cashless is embraced industry-wide and in a timely fashion, how can the government address the issues and achieve the results it has outlined?” the person said. “The Star supports the government’s move towards cashless play across the industry.”

Pokies Reform To Increase Taxation Revenue

Yogonet reported “Under the proposal, casino poker machines will attract a top tax rate of 60.67% from July 2023, bringing NSW in line with new taxation rates announced in Victoria’s state budget. It will apply only to machines in the state’s casinos and not those in pubs and clubs.”

Backlash On Pokies Reform

Star Casino’s announcement that it had changed its stance on gaming reform in New South Wales has been met with a mixed response. While reform advocates welcome Star’s new-found support, ClubsNSW and the AHA oppose the move; they cite potential job losses as one of their primary concerns. 

As part of their campaign against the reform, ClubsNSW launched the “Reform the Right Way” campaign in December. It proposed practical and proportionate changes while inviting people to email their local MPs to voice their opinion. Meanwhile, Treasurer Matt Kean proposed raising taxes on table games and poker machines at Star Casino in Sydney, which caused Star’s market value to plunge by AUD600 million. 

The mandatory cards for casino access are yet to be approved by cabinet ministers, although the Nationals remain unconvinced by such reforms. ClubsNSW has formally launched a campaign against pro-reform MPs ahead of the upcoming state election.

NSW Cashless Pokies reform

Sky News Host Caleb Bond Says

The TrueBlue Expert Casino Panel watched Caleb Bond’s thought piece and approve of his findings. He really laid out a strong case for cashless pokies. He had two main points. These points are really significant to social cohesion across Australia. 

  • The amount of monies individuals are gambling is monitored- easier to counsel problem gamblers. People working in casinos want to stop those who are clearly addicted but is often prevented by the casino management. When NWS goes cashless it will be easier to curb gamblers’ ability to put money into pokies.
  • He went on to say that cashless pokies help stop mass money laundering. He explained that organised crime gangs purchase winning gambling tickets from winners at a higher price so the gangs can cash the money themselves. He wants to prevent “criminals using struggling gambling addicts into pawns of the gangs”. 

One thing is clear the unintended consequence of the scandals is that gaming is not trusted.

True Blue Expert Casino Says

Cashless pokies will provide greater security against fraud and crime as transactions are tracked electronically rather than manually. The technology will also provide a more convenient gaming experience as it is faster and simpler than using cash. All in all, we here at True Blue Casino fully support the proposed reforms on cashless pokies.