ClubsNSW has reiterated its support of cashless gaming technology, a position it has held for more than five years. The association has felt the need to clarify its position after media reporting suggesting otherwise.

ClubsNSW has stated that is was the first to put forward the idea of digital payments with built-in responsible gambling tools for EGMs in 2016, and followed up in 2018 by including a commitment to a digital wallet trial in its MoU with the NSW Government. That trial, in conjunction with Wests Newcastle and Aristocrat, is currently underway.

ClubsNSW Chairman Dr George Peponis OAM has backed its record on supporting digital payment options and responsible gaming.

“We know that society is moving towards a cashless economy, which is why we already have a digital wallet trial underway,” Dr Peponis said.

“It’s our belief that people should have the ability to pay for play on a poker machine using cash or digital technology — just as they have options when it comes to paying for everything else.”

Where Dr Peponis draws the line is at a mandatory cashless system for all EGMs, a policy which is currently being considered by the NSW Government.

“We are not convinced that an untested mandatory cashless card is the way to go. The international experience demonstrates that forcing players to use cards drives recreational players to other forms of gambling, in particular to unregulated online casinos, and can exacerbate problem gambling,” explained the ClubsNSW chairman.

“It’s worth remembering that the NSW Crime Commission’s recommendation for a mandatory cashless card was outlined in a report following the inquiry into money laundering via poker machines — not an inquiry into responsible gambling.

“That same report stated using gaming machines to clean large quantities of dirty money is ‘high risk and inefficient’ and that the practice is ‘not widespread’ in the industry.

“Rather than banning cash, we support banning criminals and problem gamblers from club gaming rooms.”

Late last year, ClubsNSW announced plans to roll out facial recognition technology in gaming room areas in clubs all over the state, in a bid to further deepen its responsible gambling approach.

“Facial recognition technology will become a major part of our existing Multi-Venue Self-Exclusion system, which prevents excluded persons from entering the gaming areas of clubs. This system will instantly detect excluded individuals and prevent them from gambling in any pub or club in New South Wales.”

This story was first published by Club Management, click here to subscribe to the weekly newsletter.

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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