The Tasmanian Government is “determined” to bring in a cashless pre-committment card for EGMs should it be recommended by the Liquor and Gaming Commission, while NSW appears to have put its plans on ice.

According to the latest reports, Tasmanian Treasurer Michael Ferguson has directed the LGC to investigate card-based pre-commitment scheme schemes and facial recognition technology as part of legislation passed last year. The investigation is looking into time limits, expenditure limits, live activity data, self-exclusion, breaks in play and on-screen messaging. A full report and recommendations are expected to be tabled by June 30.

The NSW Government, meanwhile, is reportedly reversing a commitment to bring in a mandatory cashless card scheme after a change of minister and lobbying by ClubNSW which claimed the system would cost the industry $1.8bn a year.

The NSW cashless card trial was led by Aristocrat Gaming and was scheduled to take place at Wests Newcastle. The NSW Government and Aristocrat have been approached for comment.

The NSW card policy, where casual and problem gamblers would load funds onto a smart card, was proposed by former gaming minister Victor Dominello and was intended to limit problem gambling and the laundering of money on EGMs. 

But new Gaming Minister Kevin Anderson is believed to want to ditch the cashless card in favour of other opt-in digital payments, which some claim will not reduce gambling harm and continue to allow criminals to launder money.

Mr Anderson was still in favour of using some form of digital payment to reduce problem gambling and clamp down on money laundering.

ClubsNSW CEO Josh Landis had supported the original inquiry and said ClubsNSW wanted to see an objective assessment of the cards so clubs can stay one step ahead of organised crime.

Victoria’s voluntary opt-in system only accounted for 0.1 per cent of gaming machine turnover, while a trial in Queensland found “significant effort” was needed to encourage players to use the cards.

Related article: Victoria’s strict cashless gaming card plans.

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