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NSW independent gaming reform panel dialing in cashless trial

The New South Wales Independent Panel on Gaming Reform is prioritizing the cashless gaming trial in the state, aiming to “confirm the design and regulatory settings […] to ensure it can start as soon as possible”.

That’s according to the state’s Minister for Gaming and Racing, David Harris.

The independent panel held its first meeting on Monday, aiming to kick-start the cashless trial which had originally been scheduled to commence on July 1st. While some cashless trials are already underway in the state, the full scope is still being defined.

Large-scale operators, such as The Star, will be part of the trial, with a 50-machine debut starting in October. Overall the trial is expected to include some 500 machines.

The measures being consulted by the panel include “deciding which venues take part,” aiming for the ideal mix of clubs and hotels across urban and rural areas and ensuring “that the trial will have strong data security and privacy protections in place,” noted the Minister.

The meeting comes after the introduction of various gambling harm and criminal activity reduction measures which have recently come into place.

These include reducing cash input limits on new pokies, banning political donations from clubs with pokies and lowering the cap for pokie entitlements.

On September 1st, a new ban on external signage for gaming rooms across the state comes into effect. The new law bans signage including words such as ‘VIP Room’, ‘Golden Lounge’, ‘Player’s Room’ and others. It also prohibits images of dragons, coins and lightning. Offenders can face fines of up to AU$11,000 ($7,100) per offense.

According to a release by the independent panel, once the cashless trial is concluded, it will review the finding and ‘develop recommendations for Government, taking into consideration infrastructure investments required, impact on employment and industry, options to further reduce gambling harm and the impact on reducing the risk of money laundering’.

The panel is also providing advice to the state government on its roadmap for gaming reform by November 2024.

During the inaugural meeting, the panel focused on ‘harm minimisation protections, anti-money laundering protections, data security and privacy protections, and requirements to enable venues to participate in trials’.

A second panel meeting, focusing on the ‘objectives, design and framework’ of the cashless trial is scheduled for September.

Kelsey Wilhelm
Kelsey Wilhelm
Kelsey Wilhelm is a broadcast, print journalist and editor based in Asia for over 15 years. Focused on content creation, management, cross-cultural exchange and interviews for multi-lingual productions. Writing focus on gaming, business, politics, culture and heritage, events and celebrities, subcultures, music, film, art and fashion. Some of Kelsey's specialties are: editing, writing, copy creation, multi-lingual content production, cross-cultural exchange, content creation and management for Asian markets.



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