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Government Must Fast Track Gambling Card After Crime Commission Report : GREENS

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
26 October 2022

The Government must stand up to the pressure from the powerful gambling industry and fast track the implementation of a cashless gambling card, says Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and gambling harm reduction spokesperson, after the NSW Crime Commission today released its report into money laundering through poker machines finding billions of dollars are ‘washed’ through the machines each year. 

The Commission’s first recommendation was that gambling cards be introduced to combat money laundering through poker machines. This comes two years after the idea was floated by Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello who was then stripped of the gambling portfolio. 

“The Government has failed in its duty to fight organised crime by kicking the cashless gambling card down the road to appease the powerful gambling industry. Instead, it’s bowed to the demands of the gambling lobby by prioritising facial recognition technology in every pub and club across the state, ” said Cate Faehrmann.

“Ex Gambling Minister Victor Dominello’s proposal for a cashless gambling card is two years old. It could have been rolled out to every pub and club in the state by now but instead he was stripped of the gambling portfolio and the card delayed until 2023. 

“A gambling card would cripple money laundering operations and be the most effective gambling harm reduction measure the state has ever seen.  Yet the Government is too afraid of the backlash from Clubs NSW and the Australian Hotels Association to actually implement it. They are cowards.

“The Minister and the gambling industry almost certainly knew this would be the outcome of the report, so why have they delayed implementing a card and opted for risky and ineffective facial recognition technology? 

“This Government needs to stop protecting the gambling industry and start protecting the community against these insidious and deliberately addictive machines.

“Next sitting week, a bill will be debated in parliament to enable facial recognition technology in pubs and clubs. The Government must ditch this outrageous proposal and fast track the cashless gambling card,” said Cate Faehrmann. 

The NSW Crime Commission today released its report on Money Laundering via Electronic Gaming Machines criminals are funnelling billions of dollars of “dirty” cash through poker machines in pubs and clubs every year in NSW but there are no effective controls or data collection to identify or prosecute those involved.

The commission recommended that the Government implement a mandatory cashless gaming system to minimise EGM related money laundering within pubs and clubs.

Minister Victor Dominello previously announced the Government would implement a cashless gambling card in October 2020 before he was stripped of the gambling portfolio in December 2021 and a trial of the card delayed in April 2022

The Registered Clubs Amendment Bill 2022 was introduced to the NSW Parliament on 19 October 2022  and will allow Clubs to use facial recognition technology to administer their statewide exclusion register for persons who are experiencing gambling harm. 

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
26 October 2022
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