Australia Begins Cashless Gaming Trial to Fight Money Laundering
- Australia began its cashless gaming trial with NSW launching the trial on October 8
- Members of the Wests Newcastle club are currently taking part in the trial which runs for three months
- The trial is aimed at addressing money laundering and gambling harm concerns
Australia has begun its push to test cashless gaming strategies as the state of New South Wales ran a trial where over 200 members of Wests Group’s Newcastle club particpated. The trial, which aims to curb money laundering and reduce gambling harm, officially kicked off on October 8, 2022.
How it Works
The new initiative makes use of technology that allows customers to play at gaming machines without having to pay cash. The process involves the use of a digital wallet installed on their mobile phone.
Players only need to connect their mobile phone to the machine via Bluetooth after which they can then directly transfer funds from their phone’s gaming wallet onto the machine. However, they are required to confirm their identity before they can play and must use their own bank account in transferring money. They are also prohibited from topping up their accounts from the gaming floor.
Players may set spending or time limits to keep their gambling at bay, and they won’t be allowed to make any changes to the limits for 24 hours. The technology has been installed on 36 slot machines (known in Australia as “pokies“) at the Wests club as part of the trial.
Cashless Gaming Part of New Era
The cashless gaming trial runs for three months with the end goal of combatting money laundering through strict identity verification checks and minimizing the risk of gambling-related harm by giving players access to additional voluntary responsible gameplay tools.
Kevin Anderson, NSW’s Minister for Hospitality and Racing, said the trial is part of a new gaming era whereby patrons can enjoy greater convenience and control over their gambling, and suspected money launderers are quickly identified through innovations such as digital wallets.
The trial follows several casino license suitability inquiries conducted throughout the country, including two in NSW which involved Crown Resorts and Star Entertainment Group, both of which have since been found unfit to hold a license for their Sydney and Queenland properties respectfully. Crown and Star previously agreed to adopt cashless gaming to achieve suitability.
The new initiative would empower players to actively manage and keep track of their play in ways that are convenient for them. It will also help boost the long-term sustainability of NSW’s gaming industry, according to David Ronson, APAC Managing Director for Aristocrat Gaming, the company behind the technology being used in the ongoing trial. Other gaming suppliers approved to participate in the trial include Utopia Gaming, Light & Wonder and IGT.