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Facial recognition in pubs and clubs a dangerous precedent that won't stop gambling harm

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
19 October 2022

NSW Greens MP and gambling harm spokesperson Cate Faehrmann has condemned today's reports that venues across NSW will roll out facial recognition cameras in gambling rooms, calling it a sop to the powerful gambling industry and renewing calls for effective harm reduction measures including mandatory cashless gambling cards.

"Pokies operators are so scared of a mandatory gambling card that they've turned to invasive and inconsistent facial recognition technology instead," said Ms Faehrmann.

"The NSW Government has lost its mind if it thinks people want pubs and clubs to have self managed facial recognition tech. This is as terrifying as it is absurd.

"Not only is this a huge invasion of privacy, it's far less accurate than a mandatory card. It's also another piece of public data at threat of a potential breach. 

“We need to place a moratorium on new facial recognition technology so that it can be assessed and regulated, before it ends up in every pub and club in every town in NSW. 

"A mandatory gambling card would allow self-exclusion and gambling harm reduction measures, and would stop money laundering in its tracks,” said Ms Faehrmann.

The Greens are calling for: 

  • A mandatory state-wide cashless gambling card
  • A curfew on gambling machines operating between midnight and midday
  • $1 bet limits per spin on gambling machines 
  • Mandatory player-set time and spending limits for gambling machines and online gambling
  • A prohibition on loyalty programs in gambling venues 
  • A ban on poker machine features designed to be addictive such as flashing lights and sounds, and losses disguised as wins
  • Amendments to the Electoral Funding laws to prohibit political donations from clubs engaged in wagering, betting or other gambling
  • A prohibition on political parties, elected representatives and candidates from owning, leasing or receiving any income from poker machines or receiving income from any other form of gambling
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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
19 October 2022
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