A Chris Minns’ NSW Labor Government would cut the number of poker machines and impose a mandatory cashless gaming trial if it wins the election, while premier Dominic Perrottet has vowed to push the cashless gaming card through cabinet before the March poll.
Now, that Minns has stated his view, the political debate is now set for the future of gaming in the clubs industry. Minns said, via Twitter, that his policy will be “the most comprehensive reform package in NSW history”, should he win the election.
Minns plan includes reducing the number of poker machines in the state by requiring one poker machine to be forfeited for every two machines traded between a pub or club, not the one machine that is currently forfeited for every three traded.
Labor will also immediately reduce the NSW-wide machine entitlement cap and introduce a floating cap that will drop every year as machine licences go down.
The party also plans to reduce cash feed-in limits to $500 per machine, from an existing from$5000, for all new poker machines.
He has also proposed banning political donations from clubs, proposed removing signage advertising poker machines outside venues and suggested expanding self-exclusion registers to use facial recognition technology.
A Labor Government would also introduce a mandatory 12-month cashless gaming trial in NSW, to begin on July 1, 2023. The trial will include 500 machines, of the more than 90,000 poker machines across both pubs and clubs in the state.
Minor parties and independents make a stand
Under the NSW Greens’ multi-billion-dollar plan, pokies would disappear from all
clubs across the state over the next decade.
Venues would pay more to the NSW Government under the plan, with a pokie “super tax” of 60 per cent across pubs and clubs, increasing by five per cent every year, for a “perpetual community fund”.
Independent MP for Murray Helen Dalton supported the Greens’ stance while the head of her former party, Shooter Fishers and Farmers MP Robert Borsak, said her position would cause the loss of jobs and income from grants to local communities.
“You simply can’t sign off on trashing jobs and communities without initial consultation and agreement with at least most of the 49 licensed clubs in the Electoral District of Murray,” Borsak said.
The backing of the cashless gaming card will kill off many of the smaller clubs and drive others near to the financial abyss, he said, adding the cost of upgrading poker machines to accommodate the cashless card that will also be unaffordable.
Meanwhile, in early December last year, the Minister for Hospitality and Racing Kevin Anderson appointed two new Trustees and reappointed an existing Trustee to the Responsible Gambling Fund Trust (RGF).
Experienced senior executive Sara Pantzer and accredited financial counsellor Kylie Holford will take up the new roles to contribute advice on funding projects and services that support responsible gambling and reduce gambling harm.