The NSW Government’s Independent Panel on Gaming Reform has agreed on a bigger and broader cashless gaming trial, with participants revealed.
The expanded trial will include around 4,500 machines across 28 clubs and hotels across 24 metropolitan and regional local government areas.
The Independent Panel has endorsed a broad range of venues of various sizes for the trial, ensuring information can be collected and recommendations developed for the NSW Government.
Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris said the increased size of the trial showed that the industry was behind the 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. I want to thank Mr Foggo and the Panel for their ongoing work coming together to build consensus.
“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.”
To participate in the trial, minimum requirements included harm minimisation protections, anti-money laundering protections, data security and privacy protections.
These new machines are in addition to more than 250 machines that have already completed trials at Wests Newcastle and Club York, providing important early insights to the Independent Panel on Gaming Reform.
Five technology providers – Aristocrat, eBet, Independent Gaming, IGT and Light & Wonder – have have been given conditional approval to participate in the extended trial, subject to essential cybersecurity requirements.
Four of the five technology providers are Gaming Technologies Association (GTA) members, underlining the association’s commitment to the trial.
“The focus for GTA is to ensure a fair and balanced path for gaming technology in Australia. The trial is complex and costly but we are committed to finding a path forward and working with the NSW Government,” stated CEO Jinesh Patel.
“GTA is proud to contribute to the NSW Panel and its members are committed to seeing Australia’s first statewide trial succeed.”
Beginning in the first quarter of 2024, the new venues will provide insights into the use of cashless gaming technology in hotels and clubs, particularly on reducing gambling harm and money laundering, and impacts on club and hotel employees as well as infrastructure requirements and costs.
The cashless gaming trial is being overseen by the Independent Panel on Gaming Reform, which was established by the NSW Government in July. Panel Chair Michael Foggo said that he was heartened by the amount of industry interest in the trial.
“The independent panel – which comprises key industry, law enforcement, community, and harm minimisation representatives – has been buoyed by the large number of applications it received for the trial.
“This demonstrates the depth of genuine support this trial has in the industry and its commitment to addressing gambling harm and money laundering.
“We look forward to working with the trial participants in the coming months and monitoring and gaining insights from this important project.”
The trial comes off the back of other gaming reforms already implemented by the Minns Government, including reducing the cash input level from $5000 to $500 for all new EGMs from 1 July; reducing the state-wide cap on EGMs by more than 3,000; and banning VIP signage outside of pubs and clubs.
The Independent Panel is scheduled to provide a gaming reform report to the NSW Government by November 2024, which will include information from the cashless gaming trial.
Participating venues in the trial are as follows:
- Albion Hotel
- Auburn Tennis Club
- Broken Hill Musicians Club
- Cabra-Vale Ex-Active Servicemen’s Club
- Charles Hotel
- Crows Nest Hotel
- Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club
- Dubbo RSL Memorial Club
- Epping Club
- Fingal Bay Sports Club
- Golden Sheaf Hotel
- Juniors Malabar RSL Club
- Juniors Maroubra RSL Club
- Moama Bowling Club
- Nags Head Hotel
- Pittwater RSL Club
- Ramsgate RSL Club
- Royal Hotel Bondi
- Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen’s Club
- St George Leagues Club
- St Marys Rugby League Club
- The Duke Hotel
- The Stag & Hunter Hotel
- Twin Towns Services Club
- Wests HQ
- Willoughby Hotel
- Worrigee Sports Club
- Wyong Rugby League Club
Australian Hotelier understands that as part of the conditions of trial participation, venues are currently unable to comment.