Cashless Gaming Trial Report Finds Little Change to Gaming Machine Players’ Behaviour

April 12, 2024 | Gaming Machines

NSW, Australia (April 12, 2024) — The first cashless gaming trial in New South Wales, conducted at Wests New Lambton, faced criticism from gambling reform advocates despite its implementation of technology allowing direct money transfers from smartphones to gaming machines. The trial aimed to introduce voluntary responsible gambling features like limit setting. However, Professor Paul Delfabbro’s report, commissioned by Liquor and Gaming NSW, found minimal impact on player behavior. While some individuals reduced their gambling expenditure, the venue didn’t observe revenue changes.

Carol Bennett, CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, dismissed the trial as insufficient, advocating for mandatory cashless cards with binding limits as recommended by the NSW Crime Commission. She proposed additional harm reduction features such as play limits mandating breaks and maximum play periods, prohibiting credit use, and unlinking play from loyalty schemes.

The report acknowledged initial technical challenges but noted the technology’s effectiveness once operational. However, players preferred their familiar gambling methods and machines, highlighting resistance to change. Only a fraction of participants completed the post-trial survey, indicating limited engagement.

Despite criticisms, Liquor and Gaming NSW emphasized the trial’s purpose of assessing real-world cashless gaming operation and harm minimization tools. The trial, which also took place at Sydney’s Club York, involved fewer participants than anticipated, and only a small portion utilized the limit-setting feature, with some breaches.

The government’s decision to expand the trial to 4,500 machines across 28 venues reflects ongoing efforts to address gambling-related harm. The Independent Panel on Gaming Reform will oversee the expanded trial, with findings expected in November.

SOURCE: LI Contributor.

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