Hundreds of pokies players will soon be able to play without cash as part of a long-delayed “digital wallet” trial. The state’s crime commission cautions that laws make money laundering easier for crooks. New South Wales (NSW) will test the latest idea to install cashless gambling machines at the Wests Group store in Newcastle.
The New South Wales Crime Commission reports that portions of the state’s gambling regulations have increased the likelihood of money laundering through poker machines and of “significant” credit limit reductions for clubs.
This technology will be available to several hundred players beginning next month. After more than a year of support from the gambling lobby, the 12-week study at Wests Newcastle will commence next month.
This research aims to lessen the harm gaming does, and the amount of money laundered via it. It should utilize digital wallets to keep participants safe and prevent money laundering.
The opt-in wallet will be linked to a player’s ID and an Australian bank account and include safety features like spending limitations and real-time spending details.
The concept of cashless gaming machines has been discussed for over a year, and the testing phase is beginning. Beginning in September, the experimental program will incorporate responsible gambling safeguards such as spending and playing time limits, education, and real-time alerts to customers and marshals.
Aristocrat Leisure, a business that creates technology and games for smartphones, will use the new technology on 38 slot machines. Approximately 300 persons are estimated to be affected.
This comes after anti-gambling advocates deemed “utterly cynical” Clubs NSW’s plan for a new “code of practice” that would allow the family members of gambling addicts to request that they be excluded from venues.
Minister of NSW Hospitality and Racing Kevin Anderson states that slot machine manufacturers Utopia Gaming and IGT have also expressed interest. Currently, two further viable candidates are being considered.
Revamped gaming system
The Crime Commission, which has royal commission-like powers and investigates big crimes, stated in December that it would investigate money laundering through the state’s poker machines separately.
The new cashless technology, which represents a significant advancement, will be tested for twelve weeks. At Wests Newcastle, friends should utilize Bluetooth to link their phones to the ATM and immediately transfer funds.
In a secretly distributed concerns paper, the commission wondered whether poker machine credit limitations should be “seriously cut.”
Using a digital wallet to make purchases will also allow games to be more accountable. In addition, the requirement for players to leave the gaming area to add funds to their accounts will reduce the likelihood that they will wager on the spot.
According to the commission, a “lack of clarity and openness” about gambling machine tickets in New South Wales presents a “potential route” for criminal operations, while other regulations “increase the sector’s susceptibility to money launderers.”
Other viable alternatives include increasing time and money constraints. Anderson stated that cost applications would be thoroughly evaluated and changed as necessary to accommodate this new method of use.
Curbing Money Laundering
Former Supreme Court Justice Patricia Bergin backed cashless gaming in her report. New South Wales investigated whether Crown Resorts could obtain a license for its new Sydney casino before releasing the report. She was concerned that cashless cards could prevent money laundering.
The primary purpose of cashless funds is to prevent illicit monies from purchasing goods. Current investigations by the NSW Crime Commission indicate that casinos are frequently used to launder money obtained through prison labor.
In 2020, Victor Dominello, the minister of customer service, was the first to implement cashless poker machines. Cashless slot machines were first introduced at the New Lambton club as part of a trial in Newcastle clubs.
Minister of Customer Service Victor Dominello lauded the trial, stating that it will “help us combat the twin sins of money laundering and problem gambling, addressing the Bergin Inquiry’s central concerns.”
Legal loopholes, unclear tickets, and excessively high credit score limits made the procedure quick and simple.
In December 2021, however, the cabinet changed, and Dominello’s position was granted to Kevin Anderson. Anderson is opposed to the government monitoring or mandating cashless gambling. However, he favors the concept of “opt-in” digital payments.
Last Updated on by Ryan