Cashless Gambling Gaining Support from Independent MPs
SYDNEY, NSW, Australia (April 28, 2023) — Local media report independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich says cashless gaming will be delivered under the new Labor government and possibly earlier than promised by the Coalition, as new data shows pubs and clubs last year raked in a record $8.1 billion in poker machine profits.
According to Liquor & Gaming NSW gamblers in NSW clubs lost $4.6 billion on poker machines last year, $642 million more than the previous record pre-COVID high of 2018. Pubs also made record profits from gamblers, beating their previous high from 2019 by $841 million, bringing in $3.5 billion.
The latest six-monthly poker machine data, released by NSW Liquor and Gaming, also reveals that pubs in every Sydney council area except North Sydney and Mosman posted record annual net profits, while clubs in 27 out of 34 areas also made more than ever before. Club venues in Fairfield reaped both the most profits and the largest rises.
The extraordinary profits will further bolster the push for a major overhaul of gambling in NSW, which is the first order of business for several independent MPs in the new term of parliament who have identified gambling reform as one of their top priorities after last year’s damning NSW Crime Commission report.
The former NSW Coalition government pledged to remove cash from the state’s 86,872 poker machines by December 31, 2028, while Labor committed to a trial of a cashless gaming card in 500 machines as well as reducing cash feed-in limits in new machines from $5000 to $500.
The crossbenchers, who were critical of Labor’s policy ahead of the election arguing it was too weak, immediately began discussions with the new government after its March 25 win, including with Premier Chris Minns and Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris.