Landmark Cashless Gaming Trial Expanded to Another 4400 Machines Across NSW Pubs, Hotels

December 16, 2023 | Government

One state’s trial of cashless pokies is getting a major overhaul as thousands of machines are added to the landmark reform, with some of the top earners revealed.

SYDNEY, Australia (December 15, 2023) — More than 4400 electric gaming machines will be added to NSW’s cashless gaming trial, including clubs which have raked in some of the state’s highest poker machine profits.

According to news wire reports 4485 machines across 20 clubs and eight hotels, across 17 metro LGAs and seven regional areas have been conditionally approved to participate, subject to meeting cybersecurity requirements.

Those figures represent about 5 per cent of the state’s 86,872 gaming machines.

The new clubs participating in the trial, slated to begin in the first quarter of next year, encompass some of the state’s top-earning venues for gaming machine profit.

This includes Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club (ranked fourth with 450 machines), the Cabra-Vale Ex-Active Servicemen’s Club (ranked fifth with 450 machines), and West HQ, which was formerly the Rooty Hill RSL Club (ranked seventh with 705 machines) according to Liquor and Gaming data collected from clubs between December 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023.

The top-earning club in terms of net profit was the Mounties in Mount Prichard, which has a total of 615 machines.

The policy is a significant expansion of the original 500-machine trial, which had been criticised by welfare groups as being too small.

Gaming and Racing Minister David Harris said the cashless gaming trial had been well-received by the industry.

“The strong interest in participating in the cashless gaming trial proves just how serious clubs and hotels are about working with the Government to reduce gambling harm and money laundering associated with electronic gaming machines,” he said.

“The industry is clearly behind us as we undergo these landmark gaming reforms as part of our commitment to addressing money laundering and gambling harm in NSW.”

The cashless gaming trial has been significantly expanded, with 4485 new machines taking part. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Gaye Gerard

The venues were endorsed by the Independent Panel into Gaming Reform, with more than 250 machines having already completed trials at Wests City in Newcastle and Club York in Sydney’s CBD.

To participate in the trial, hotels and clubs needed to prove they met minimum requirements like harm minimisation protections, anti-money laundering protections, data security and privacy protections, with the results of the trials used to develop future cashless gaming policy.

Independent Panel chair Michael Foggo, who was a former commissioner of the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, said the panel received a “large number” of applications from venues wanting to participate in the trial.

“This demonstrates the depth of genuine support this trial has in the industry and its commitment to addressing gambling harm and money laundering,” he said.

Since September 1, external signage advertising poker machines have been banned outside clubs and pubs.

Labor’s gambling reforms also decreased cash input limits on new poker machines from $5000 to $500, and banned political donations from clubs involved in gaming.