Premier Dominic Perrottet Reveals Cashless Gaming Cards Limits

Cashless gaming caards proposed in NSW

Talks about cashless gaming cards intensified this week after Premier Dominic Perrottet revealed a possible spending limit. Perrottet appeared on Chris O’Keefe‘s radio show on 2GB where he gave some indication to the spending limits he plans for cashless gaming cards if the NSW public re-elects him in March.

Perrottet stated a proposed limit of $1,000 to $1,500 per day is the likely upper limit. Such a limit raised a few eyebrows, not least because it is far greater than the limits Tasmania imposed. Tasmania already has cashless gaming cards. They have limits of $100 per day, $500 per week, and $5,000 annually. NSW real money pokies players could spend $365,000 to $547,500 annually under Perrottet’s proposed cap.

The cashless gaming cards work like an online casino credit card in that users register their details, the venue links the card to the patron, and that person tops up the card at the cashier’s desk instead of using cash. Venues and the card owner have the ability to track their spending a playing time. Hotels, pubs, and clubs have the right to refuse the customer their top-up if they suspect problem gambling. Furthermore, there is a cooling-off period if a person hits the daily loss limit. It is thought such measures could help curb potential problem gambling before it becomes an issue.

Cashless Gaming Cards Will Stop Money Laundering

Cashless gaming cards requiring registration means the end of anonymous gambling. New South Wales is a money laundering hotspot, with estimates that up to $1 billion is laundered through the state’s pokies each year. Removing anonymity, as online casinos in Australia do with their Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures, creates a significant problem for criminals.

The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, and 60 Minutes published the findings of their investigation into money laundering in November 2021. It showed one man feeding $27,000 cash into a machine in only one hour. The man in question bet a single dollar before withdrawing his balance, this “washing” what was obviously dirty money. The man in question, to anyone oblivious to his antics, now looks like he has won $27,000 at the casino and is free to put the money into his bank account.

Not Everyone Is Supporting the System

There are always push-backs with the introduction of any new system, and that is true of the cashless gaming cards. Some casino patrons argue they are an invasion of privacy, and they have a point. However, one does not expect members of Perrottet’s party to show scepticism about the project.

Liberal Transport Minister David Elliott is fervently against cashless gaming cards. Indeed, he went as far as saying the scheme is a waste of time and will not work.

“I’m keen to find where in the world the cashless card has worked. I want it to work. I want people in NSW to have confidence their loved ones are not throwing away their money. But unfortunately, we can throw money away at all manner of gambling in this country. What you’ll see is people just walking out of registered club and pub, walking down the road and not putting the $20 after bowls in a poker machine, but going to the news agency and buying $20 worth of scratchies.”

Ironically, Elliott’s son works for Aristocrat Leisure. Therefore, Elliott removed himself from making cabinet decisions relating to NSW gambling reforms.

Elliott formerly worked for the Australian Hotels Association. The current CEO, John Whelan, is also against turning pubs and clubs into cashless venues.

“We have an industry on its knees post-COVID being told to introduce an unproven, untested, un-costed, and unnecessary cashless system which treats every patron like a criminal.”