Cashless gaming cards are on their way to New South Wales, Premier Dominic Perrottet said, despite the fact that he was unsupported by its cabinet and the Australian state on the issue.
The scheme, which was recommended to be made mandatory by the state’s crime commission to reduce money laundering, received its strongest backing yet from Perrottet on Thursday, while opposition leader Chris Minns refused to commit to the idea.
According to Perrottet, a cashless gaming card would not be implemented as “a kneejerk response,” and would still need support from all sides of politics. “This is not a matter of if we do it; it’s a matter of how we do it,” he said, as reported by The Guardian.
The Premier stated NSW has been “profiting off people’s misery” for too long, and pointed out that the matter is not rooted in “working against each other.” The issue is “about working with each other to affect meaningful change to improve people’s lives across our state,” Perrottet stated.
Perrottet also noted he is in “constructive discussions” with the lower house crossbench about the implementation of such a scheme and would work with the industry on it, despite gaming groups being vehemently opposed to the move.
Despite the fact that his comments were welcomed by anti-gambling advocates and the crossbench MP Alex Greenwhich, Perrottet will still need to get the Nationals on his side, The Guardian further reported.
The deputy premier and leader of the NSW National party, Paul Toole, declared Wednesday that the technology is not available to carry out the plan. While the claim has been refuted by experts, it proves the hesitancy of many within the Nationals to act on the matter.
Deputy National party leader Bronnie Taylor stated clubs played important roles in areas outside Sydney, and that it is important that the ClubNSW is not vilified. “We all have the same interests at heart here and that is to protect our most vulnerable,” Taylor added.
As he was questioned repeatedly on Labor’s plan to tackle problem gambling and money laundering, Minns cited a report that the technology could do more hard than good and insisted it was a complex area: “You have got an industry that says they don’t have the resources to roll out the technology immediately within a truncated timeframe,” he said, as reported by the aforementioned source.
He also pointed out a report from the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation that indicates that it “may induce demand when it comes to problem gambling” as a result of there not being a sense of how much you are losing. “Why is it so important for Labor not to have a stance on this?” he added.
He called on both parties to refuse to sign memorandums of understanding with Clubs NSW and the Australian Hotels Association, which have previously been signed, ahead of the March election. “The major parties should have agreements with the people of NSW, not vested interests,” he said, and added he is not inclined to sign such memorandums as “it implies our policy proposals, our platform for government, isn’t legitimate.”
For Centre of Public Integrity chair Anthony Whealy KC bipartisanship is needed on the issue. “Each one is afraid that if they put their neck out, it’ll get chopped off by the gaming industry,” he said, and expressed concern over Minns’ lack of commitment, calling on both sides to resist MOUs moving forward.
Crown Casino in Melbourne.
The NSW Crime Commission‘s report calling for the introduction of a cashless gaming card in the Australian state argued the measure was needed as “a significant amount of money” is being put through poker machines, representing “the proceeds of crime” including drug dollars.
The recommendation for the implementation of a cashless gambling card was made by Patricia Bergin, after her investigation into Crown casino. It is thought to be “a harm minimization tool for problem gamblers,” and the means to combat criminal money laundering in the sector.
This week’s Crime Commission report into money laundering in clubs and pubs said the card would help combat an AUD 95 billion-a-year information black hole. The proposal comes as the government ruled out allowing clubs to use facial recognition technology to enforce bans on patrons kicked out of the clubs for abusing alcohol or being disorderly.