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Cashless Pokies introduced in New South Wales

Last update: May, 2024

Written by: Ferry de Groot Content specialist
Cashless Pokies introduced in New South Wales

New South Wales is going to introduce cashless pokies in the battle against money laundering. NSW is rolling out a trial of cashless gambling slots to see whether it can help reduce money laundering and problem gambling.

In New South Wales there are approximately 95,000 pokies or slot machines. Most of these pokies are stationed In hotels and bars, outside casinos. Since they are mostly placed outside casinos, the pokies are not under strict supervision as there would be in a casino. The cashless pokies will be in a 12-week trial where gamblers have to opt-in for a digital wallet where they have to identify their bank account and identity. Participants of this trial will be able to transfer credit (money) onto the pokies using their mobile phones.

This trial will start midst an investigation by the NSW Crime Commission. Which is investigating into the problems regarding money laundering using slot machines. One of the problems regarding money laundering through pokies is the lack of oversight. While Australia only accounts for 0.3% of the world´s population, it is responsible for  17% of all the pokies in the world. To improve the lack of oversight, the Liquor and Gaming authority wants to hold pubs & restaurants that facilitate pokies responsible. The Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) thinks that almost a billion AUD was being washed using pokies.

NSW MP Justin Field thinks that there is a way to tackle the money laundering by setting a maximum to how much money a player can put into a casino slot. “It is inexplicable why NSW poker machines can legally be loaded with up to $10,000 cash,” he told SMH. “These problems can be addressed very quickly with simple regulatory and legislative reform, like reducing the load limits and moving to cashless gaming.”

In other states they have a lower limit than $10,000. In Victoria there is a credit limit of $1000, just like in the Northern Territories. In Queensland and South Australia the limit is as low as $100. In NSW they can load up a pokie with $10,000 cash, lose a few dollars and then cash out a ticket worth of almost $10,000.

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