NSW Government Launches Expanded Cashless Gaming Trial

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The government of New South Wales (NSW) has decided to broaden the scope of its cashless gaming trial, marking a significant step in gambling reform within the state. This larger-scale trial is set to begin in the first quarter of 2024. It aims to incorporate around 4,500 gaming machines located in 28 clubs and hotels, spread over 24 local government areas, both metropolitan and regional.

An independent panel, formed in July to guide gambling reform efforts in NSW, has recommended this expansion. Previous cashless gaming trials were conducted on over 250 machines in locations such as Wests Newcastle and Club York. For participation in the upcoming trial, clubs and hotels must meet certain criteria. These include implementing harm minimization, anti-money laundering measures, and ensuring data security and privacy. The government has conditionally approved five technology providers for their involvement in this extended trial.

Politicians Highlight Significance of Trial

The independent panel, tasked with overseeing the trial, will closely examine all collected data. This information will play a crucial role in shaping the panel’s reform report, which is expected to be presented to the government by November 2024.

NSW Minister for Gaming and Racing, David Harris, highlighted the significance of this trial.

This trial is bigger, broader and delivers nine times more machines than we committed to during the election campaign. The independent panel has lit the next step in our reform agenda. The strong interest in participating in the cashless gaming trial proves just how serious clubs and hotels are about working with the government to reduce gambling harm and money laundering associated with electronic gaming machines. The industry is clearly behind us as we undergo these landmark gaming reforms as part of our commitment to addressing money laundering and gambling harm in NSW.

David HarrisNSW Minister for Gaming and Racing

Michael Foggo, the chair of the panel, echoed these sentiments. He noted the widespread industry backing for the trial, which is evident from the high number of applications received. Foggo expressed optimism about the iGaming industry’s commitment to addressing gambling-related issues and the potential insights from the project.

Widespread Reforms in NSW Gambling Sector

Cashless gaming is just one aspect of the broader gambling reform efforts in NSW. The government has already introduced several measures aimed at reducing gambling harm and curbing money laundering. One such change is the reduction of the cash input limit for new poker machines, set to be implemented from July next year.

The state has also implemented a reduction in gaming machine entitlements and banned political donations from clubs involved in gaming. Other initiatives include removing VIP gaming signage and committing significant funds for gambling harm minimization over the coming years.

Moreover, the NSW government has recently confirmed tax increases for land-based casinos. This follows an agreement in principle reached earlier this summer, with the new rates effective from July of the current year.

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