Labor Reveals Plans for Gambling Reforms in New South Wales

The New South Wales (NSW) Labor party in Australia has announced a number of gambling reforms it would introduce if it wins the state election taking place in March.

The reforms include a trial of cashless gaming cards for a year, banning clubs from making political donations, banning signs advertising poker machines outside venues, and introducing facial recognition technology to the self-exclusion scheme.

Furthermore, the party has said that it would aim to reduce the number of pokies in NSW by upping the forfeit ratio imposed when a venue buys a machine from another venue to one in two.

The proposed changes were announced by opposition leader Chris Minns following extensive dialogue with the government on how to tackle problem gambling.

Labor has said that it would begin the trial of cashless gaming cards in July 2023 if it wins the election. The trial would take place at a few venues that have at least 500 machines in both metropolitan and regional areas.

The trial is to be observed by an independent panel made up of industry stakeholders, law enforcement, experts, and academics in the field of gambling and health.

Minns also explained that the ban on the party receiving donations from clubs with gambling machines would begin immediately. He said, “I want to make sure, particularly when we’re doing this trial, the public doesn’t believe that donations being made to political parties are tempering or influencing those decisions.”

There was a backlash to the proposals from Greens MP Cate Faehrmann. She pointed out that problem gamblers and money launderers would avoid venues involved in the trial.

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