Gambling Shaping Up as a Contentious Issue in State Election

January 31, 2023 | Gambling

SYDNEY, NSW (January 30, 2023) — With gambling shaping up as a contentious issue in the NSW election, the industry has released a code of conduct promising to ban suspected criminals.

ClubsNSW is resisting the push for mandatory cashless gaming cards, saying there is no evidence they will address problem gambling.

News service ‘The Australian Associated Press’ reports the ClubsNSW gaming code of practice released on Monday includes welfare checks on poker machine players every three hours and measures to ban problem gamblers from venues.

Under the code club staff would be trained to identify key problem gambling indicators, while every club would have a responsible gambling officer.

“In the event that a player shows any level of distress or hardship, they will need to take a break from gambling for at least 24 hours,” the industry body said in a statement.

Problem gambling has become a hot-button issue ahead of the state election in March as the latest data shows gamblers losing almost $1 million every hour on NSW poker machines.

Political parties have been under pressure to introduce cashless gaming for poker machines after an NSW Crime Commission report released last year found billions of dollars in dirty cash was being laundered through the machines every year.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has promised to introduce a statewide mandatory cashless gaming card but is yet to release details, while Labor says it will cut the number of poker machines and introduce a cashless gaming trial on 500 of the state’s 90,000 machines.

ClubsNSW says under its code patrons seeking credit for gambling, borrowing money from other patrons, or who admit to stealing money to gamble would be offered counselling and automatically barred from gaming rooms.

The code will allow family members to request an exclusion for loved ones who they believe are experiencing gambling harm, with an expert gambling counsellor to determine whether a ban is appropriate.

ClubsNSW chief executive Josh Landis said the code was the most effective way to protect problem gamblers and keep crime out of clubs.

“Clubs have always been the safest places to gamble and they are about to become even safer,” he said.

See the original article.

SOURCE: The Australian Associated Press.

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