New South Wales Begins Cashless Electronic Gaming Machines Trial

Law & Politics Business
Alan Campbell

Updated by

Alan Campbell

Last Updated on 28th March 2024, 10:47 AM

New South Wales Begins Cashless Electronic Gaming Machines Trial

The Twin Towns Services Club in the small New South Wales, Australia, town of Tweed Heads has become the first venue to participate in the expanded trial of the Australian state’s cashless electronic gaming machines scheme.

Located near the border between New South Wales and Queensland, the facility has begun running cashless technology from Ebet Gaming Systems Proprietary Limited across its entire estate of 596 machines - which includes real money slots - while simultaneously encouraging punters to voluntarily sign up for an account.

Prickly Pledge

The enlarged New South Wales cashless electronic gaming machines trial was first promised by the government of the state’s Premier, Chris Minns, when it came to power in March of 2023. The new arrangement is designed to track spending and curb problem gambling by asking punters to load funds into a verified account before utilizing this innovation to play.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported the expanded trial has nevertheless drawn controversy as it is substituting for a mandatory card proposal earlier recommended by a New South Wales Crime Commission-led inquiry. This investigation purportedly determined billions of dollars in ’dirty money’ were flowing through the eastern state's electronic gaming machines to effectively perpetuate and reward criminal activities.

Sensible Sample

Liquor and Gaming New South Wales explained punters in the state’s Tweed Shire local government area, which includes the community of Tweed Heads, had lost more than $33 million on electronic gaming machines in the first half of last year alone. 

The regulator detailed that this district has a population of just over 96,000 people but is a popular tourist destination owing to its warm climate, white sand beaches, and sub-tropical rainforests.

The New South Wales Minister for Gaming and Racing, David Harris, said Tweed Heads was selected to lead the state’s expanded cashless electronic gaming machines trial due to its regional status, its popularity with holidaymakers and its location near the Queensland border.

 “This will give us a real indication of how the public reacts to the technology and also what tweaks need to be made to ensure people's privacy and cybersecurity are protected,” Harris told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Enlarged Experiment

Liquor and Gaming New South Wales asserted the extended trial is being supervised by its Independent Panel on Gaming Reform and will ultimately be rolled out to involve 27 venues in 23 local government areas. 

It revealed the entire pilot is to eventually see cashless gaming technology installed in over 4,000 machines across the state of approximately 8.4 million people, with the findings of the scheme set to be revealed in November.

Harris proclaimed the gaming machines industry in New South Wales is ‘on board’ with the expanded cashless pilot and he is now looking forward to gaining ‘insights from this landmark trial’ so as to ‘continue to work together to reduce gambling harm’. 

He asserted the Minns administration has additionally sought ‘feedback’ from the 16-member Independent Panel on Gaming Reform on the potential implementation of a state-wide self-exclusion register, a third-party barring program and ‘the use of facial recognition technology to enhance exclusion schemes’.

“The New South Wales Government is committed to gambling reform that reduces harm and prevents money laundering in New South Wales,” Harris said. 

“The start of the expanded cashless gaming trial signals a key step for these reforms and the panel has taken the time to ensure there is an appropriate mix of venues and technology providers as well as necessary cybersecurity protections in place.”

Meet The Author

Alan Campbell
Alan Campbell

Alan Campbell has been reporting on the global gambling industry ever since graduating from university in the late-1990s with degrees in journalism, English and history. Now headquartered in the northern English city of Sheffield, he has written on a plethora of topics, companies, regulatory developments and technological innovations for a large number of traditional and digital publications from around the planet.

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