Cashless Gaming Trial Goes Live in New South Wales

The West Group's Newcastle club is hosting new cashless gaming trial in New South Wales, which could shape the future of Australian gambling.

Cashless gaming trials are underway in New South Wales which marks the start of a new era for Australian gambling. The West Group’s Newcastle club, the NSW government, and Aristocrat Gaming have come together to make the trial happen. Reducing gambling harm and money laundering concerns are the trial’s main goals.

The cashless trial features 36 pokies and gambling machines, although it does not state if casino games are involved. Patrons of the Newcastle club use one of the traditional casino deposit methods but none of the 36 machines accepts cash. Instead, customers use a dedicated app on their mobile phone, which connects to the machine via Bluetooth. Funds move from the wallet to the machine.

The digital wallet has several key features in addition to making cashless gaming possible. It gives the user complete control over their gambling habits and spending. Furthermore, the casino has sight of the same data, which helps it to protect the end user.

Users of the digital wallet can set spending and playing time limits. Their spending data is available in real time, allowing them to see to the cent how much they have won or lost during that session or across their lifetime. It is possible to self-exclude themselves from gambling, but they cannot reload the wallet on the gaming floor. Visiting a cashier is the only way to reload in this cashless environment.

Aristocrat Managing Director Proud to Help the Cashless Trial

David Ronson is the Managing Director of Aristocrat Gaming, the first company chosen to be part of the cashless trials. He is understandably proud for Aristocrat to be part of such a study.

“We’re proud to have proposed this trial, as we believe enabling cashless electronic gaming machine play payment solutions through patrons’ mobile phones is an innovation that can help the long-term sustainability and vibrancy of our industry.”

“Our PRIME Wallet solution offers patrons additional voluntary responsible gameplay tools, developed in consultations with customers, to help further empower patrons to actively manage their play in ways that suit them.”

Aristocrat is one four companies approved for the cashless trial. However, IGT, Light & Wonder, and Utopia Gaming have not started their trials yet.

The trial, which initially lasts three-months, could be the first of many as the government makes tweaks and alterations to the system until it has the perfect digital wallet. The times, they are a’changin’ as the great Bob Dylan once sang.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Digital Wallet?

Australia’s biggest real money casinos have seen their names dragged through the mud recently. Inquiries found Crown Resorts and Star Entertainment unfit to hold a casino gaming license. Lax anti-money laundering procedures played a major role in each company’s rulings.

Inquiries learned of VIPs spending vast sums of money without casino staff challenging them. A cashless, digital wallet makes it extremely unlikely anyone would attempt laundering money.

Being unable to reload the wallet away from the cashier’s desk is a step towards more responsible gambling. Many gamblers have lost the money they were prepared to lose, only to stick one more $20 in the machine. Being cashless eradicates this. In addition, cashiers have the chance to reason with the player and even refuse to reload the wallets.

There are benefits for the casino and the gaming machine manufacturers, too. Banking cash is costly for businesses, as is the storage of cash on the premises. Funding a machine via Bluetooth reduces the amount of cash a casino needs on site. Therefore, it reduces its overheads.

Those making gaming machines benefit, too. After the initial investment in the digital wallet software, the machines no longer require cash-receiving mechanisms installed. This means they do not require as much maintenance either. It’s a win-win scenario for all involved, except criminals, and that is never a bad thing.