New South Wales Government Plans to Introduce Cashless Poker Machines
Posted on October 8, 2020 | 7:15 am
The New South Wales government is planning to introduce cashless pre-loaded cards for poker machines across the state. The proposal would have anyone using a poker machine in the state of New South Wales be required to register a card with the state government.
That card would have funds pre-loaded on it, but it would also be linked to the state exclusion register to identify self-excluded players and prevent them from gambling.
Controversial Proposal for a Booming Industry
There are no less than 95,000 video poker machines in the Australian state of New South Wales, and they bring in no less than 1 billion dollars in state taxes each year. Moreover, the industry employs 100,000 people across the state.
The government is worried about the increased expenditure on poker machines, though, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Customers have spent 200 million dollars more on pokies between July and August compared to the same period last year.
Senior cabinet minister Victor Dominello, who is responsible for gambling, is the official that put together the proposal, which includes using facial recognition technology to identify problem gamblers.
The industry’s reaction was not as compliant as the minister might have expected. Clubs NSW chief Josh Landis said: “Gaming revenue has fallen 14 per cent year-on-year as a result of the 10-week industry shutdown, while food and beverage takings are down 60 to 70 per cent. I don’t think anyone would agree that the middle of a pandemic is the right time to introduce onerous new compliance requirements.”
NSW Australian Hotels Association boss John Whelan added: “We don’t believe our patrons want to be monitored through facial recognition each and every time they catch up with mates at the pub.”
On the other hand, minister Victor Dominello replied: “While I understand their concerns, I vehemently disagree with their conclusion that we should just walk away from this reform or kick it down the road because it is all too hard.
Pokie machine addiction is an old reality, and we have the technological solution to help which is what we must do when someone asks for it because it’s destroying their life.”
Players in Australia can always enjoy real money pokies online, there are several international casinos that are open for business.