The gambling reform announcement from 2022 in Australia seems to be making waves at the beginning of 2023. Though NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s initiative to introduce digital technology as a means to prevent criminal activity and gambling addiction might seem promising, it came under a lot of fire from the Labor opposition and ClubsNSW.
Taking both sides into the equation, we raise the question, “Is the cashless policy a solution to tackling societal problems, or will it just bring about additional issues itself?” Keep reading to find the answer.
An Introduction to Cashless Gambling
The proposed regulations are said to be funded by a $100 million penalty against Star Casino. Namely, this operator failed to tackle and impose control upon the criminal activities happening on its premises, which is why such a high penal $100 million penalty against Star Casino was set in motion.
The most recent sayings reveal that limits will apply to the cashless gambling cards which the NSW premier is determined to introduce. The daily spending limit is said to be between AU$ 1000 and AU$ 1500.
Back in 2022, when the proposal was initially introduced, we learned that the supporting technology for the initial trial was developed by Aristocrat Gaming. The machines were said to work with the help of Bluetooth connectivity, allowing users to transfer money directly from their digital wallet into the pokie machine.
As the digital wallet is linked to a person’s bank account and identity card, the authorities will be able to identify fund transfers more easily and have optimal surveillance over gambling activities. Additionally, this cutting-edge technology will allow users to set limits accordingly, with the available limits being:
- Setting up a maximum total bet limit over a given period
- Setting limits on the total amount spent over a given period
- Restricting the number of visits to a venue
- Setting restrictions to the duration of a gaming session
The Cashless Gambling Trial
In the wake of recent developments, Chriss Mins announced a one-year cashless gambling trial with 500 machines, spread both in regional and metro areas. The process is said to be overlooked by an independent party that will be tasked with creating a report along with recommendations about whether this reform should be put to practice or not.
Starting July 1, 2023, additional limits will be set into motion, and an AU$ 500 cap on pokie machine deposits will also be introduced. Other parts of the announcement also included mandatory facial recognition as well as assigning responsible gaming officers. Though the reform starting date was determined to be after the election, Perrotet is determined to push the date before it.
The Impact of Cashless Gambling
Opinions are split, and beliefs vary from one party to another. More evidence-based research is definitely needed before taking the next step – even pub owners and those who are part of the gambling industry advise a more cautious approach. Rushing into unknown territory is definitely a risk, especially since this gambling reform seems to only address part of the issue.
Currently, players are not solely restricted to on-location gambling; if someone would like to enjoy a game, they may do so online as well. Aussie players visit sites like truebluecasinos.org to make sure that the online gambling site is secure and up to their standards before joining.
Research is much needed in the case of cashless gambling as it remains scarce, and there are plenty of negative sides pinned up to it. Research from the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation shows that, generally, cashless payment methods are associated with higher expenditure, and cash regulation can become more difficult to manage with the missing physical payment element.
Additionally, cashless gambling is known to require working memory which can be a problem for many, including problem gamblers.
Conclusion: Will Cashless Pokies Be a Gamechanger?
The final outcome of the cashless gaming initiative remains yet to be determined in the future. However, by taking a look at both sides of the coin, we can say that concerns are legitimate. It remains difficult to determine what this reform might mean for the future of gambling in Australia, as only speculations occupy the air with very little evidence to support claims.
The reform is not likely to target the online gambling community. Yet, land-based gaming providers are likely to witness heavy changes in regulations as both the opposition and leading party are governed toward change with respect to the most recent Crime Commission report.