Dominic Perrottet, New South Wales State Premier, on Monday, announced that all poker machines would be cashless within five years to combat money laundering and compulsive gambling. This unveiled plan has passed a cabinet meeting and comes after months of public discussion and significant opposition.
“It will save lives. It will protect jobs and ensure that our communities across NSW are stronger now and into the future,” he said.
With a population of 25 million, Australia has about one-fifth of the world’s one million legal poker machines with half of them being in New South Wales.
According to a $344 million plan created by the state government, New South Wales pubs, and clubs would have five years to implement cashless gaming systems across all poker machines, with players being able to set their own loss caps. According to the plan, a statewide self-exclusion register will be established, temporary $500 cash feed-in limitations will be implemented, and players’ cards will be tied to a single bank account.
Each player will be able to set their own spending caps, but they can only be modified once each week.
The government said that its measures would make it difficult for criminals to use poker machines to launder money by allowing people to put a limit on how much they may spend and only be able to bet with money from a bank account.
Since a series of inquiries beginning in 2020 discovered many instances of casino operators failing to halt money laundering and compulsive gambling, the impact of the gambling sector on NSW politicians has come under scrutiny.
Perrottet confirmed that the government, as well as bars and clubs, will not gather or store any personal information about the players.
Back in October, SiGMA News reported the proposals for reform that follow an extensive investigation to crack down on money laundering through electronic gaming machines in pubs and clubs.