Australia’s NSW Government Agrees to Augment Cashless Gambling Experiment

NSW is bringing cashless to gaming. As Aussies increasingly spend less physical money and more in cashless payments, the move by the New South Wales government has been heralded as a wise move by those in the industry, as it seeks to stamp out criminal behavior. Money laundering at pokies was highlighted as a key area of concern in a recent review.

In an unusual turn of events just as the credit card ban has just been enforced for online gambling the NSW government has decided to implement cashless payment methods for land-based counterparts. Fortunately for those interested in finding out more about banking methods at Australian Casinos in 2024 there is plenty of information available.

The History of Cashless in Australia

Cashless is booming in Australia. While the country was already a leader in cashless payments among much of the world’s biggest economies, sitting just behind Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands,  the rate of cash use has declined even further post-pandemic. While in 2007, around 70% of payments were made in cash, by 2022, that figure had reached just a mere 13%, according to The Evolution of Consumer Payments in Australia: Results from the 2022 Consumer Payments Survey produced by the Reserve Bank of Australia. Comparatively, the cash spend rate in Spain sits at around 65%, and Europe more broadly sits at just under 60%. 

The majority of cashless payments in Australia is currently comprised of cards, with debit cards at 51%, up 5% over three years, and credit cards at 26%, up 7% over three years. The other tracked methods include BPAY, which is a common billing method, Internet/phone banking, PayPal, Cheque, and Other. It is interesting to note that the value of payments is also the largest (39%) on debit cards.

The survey also showed that consumers were more concerned about transaction speeds than ever before, and rewards points featured highly as a reason to use a cashless service.

NSW Leading in Cashless Gambling

NSW is embracing cashless in gaming, thanks to an election promise by the incoming government in March 2023. When the promise was made, the government was to roll out cashless gaming to around 500 pokies machines across the state to trial the new tech on gamers. However, thanks to huge interest from venues, the trial has expanded to include around 4500 machines at clubs and hotels. The trial will run both at venues in the metro area as well as regionally.

The previous government had promised to introduce a mandated cashless gaming card for players across the state to monitor behaviors. The cashless card system idea stemmed out of an inquiry by the NSW Crime Commission which uncovered that millions were being laundered through poker machines within the state. The new system allows the government to more closely track when, who, where, and how funds are being spent on pokies around the state.

Already, trials have been completed across 250 machines. The current trial system works with a smartphone app that connects to a machine via Bluetooth. The app allows users to do tasks such as set hourly, weekly, or monthly spend limits, track their gaming habits as well as access gambling help services, all within the one app.

For regular players, it may be an easier system to utilize than what is currently in place at venues. The ability to accurately track and monitor spend, plus access help, may stop plenty of players that would otherwise wind up in distress. These new features mirror what is available at online casinos.

A Love-Hate Relationship with Pokies

Australians are the biggest gamblers in the world per capita spend. While sports betting is a not-insignificant and growing chunk of the industry, much of the gambling spend is poured into physical poker machines. Pokies are a stalwart feature of RSLs and clubs around the country, but are biggest in NSW and Victoria. Western Australia has banned the machines outside of its one and only state casino.

While gambling addiction is a known issue, it can be difficult to police in venues. While customer welfare checks are mandatory for staff to complete, there isn’t any knowledge of what’s spent on a customer by customer breakdown. There are hundreds of stories of regular Aussies who’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars gambling, pouring every cent into the machines. This new technology is a way to help address those problem gamblers who are falling through the cracks of traditional help systems, as well as self-manage their spending. 

Aussies are so used to cashless systems for most of their day-to-day payments that the new trial won’t make much of an impact in teaching new behaviors. The time is right to introduce systems like these, as consumers become wiser, user data becomes more sophisticated and useful, and the ability to stamp out criminal behavior in the community becomes smarter, too.

Author’s Bio: 

Hi there! I’m Chloe Wilson, Chief Editor of a leading affiliate marketing website. I have an extensive background in both land-based and online casinos, and my vast knowledge and experience allow me to know firsthand what the traits of a reputable, trustworthy operator are. Not only that, I am able to understand what customers look for both in terms of maximizing the best bonus offers and enjoying the optimum gambling experience.