Australia Pushing For Cashless Gambling To Stop Pokie Machine Money Laundering
Australians love playing the pokie machines and end up spending millions of dollars each month. Aussies refer to slot machines as pokie machines as these one arm bandits are easy to play and can be highly addictive. The Australian government is keeping a close watch on these pokie machines as they are being used by criminal syndicates to launder money.
Australia is looking to crack down on money laundering activities after the US State Department termed Australia as a key location for concern with regards to money laundering.
Most states and territories in Australia provide easy access to pokie machines as they are located at casinos, pubs and clubs throughout the country.
NSW Reports Disturbing Figures
The New South Wales (NSW) gaming regulator has said that pokie machine profits have surged during the five month COVID-19 lockdown in the state. Liquor and Gaming NSW said that an increase of $305 million was reported during this period, which is 10 percent increase when compared to the same period in 2019.
To give you a breakdown of those numbers, pokie machines in NSW took in $2.8 billion from June to October 2019. Pokie machines brought in $3.1 billion during June to October 2020. The gaming regulator believes that this significant increase is mainly due to the fact that criminals are laundering money through these pokie machines.
Philip Crawford, chairman of the gaming regulator said that criminals target pokie machines because it is easy for them to wash their dirty money. The inquiry into Crown Resort’s short comings revealed that money laundering was taking place on a regular basis and nothing was done to stop it.
Crawford said these criminals who were using pokie machines to launder their money had ties to paedophilia, drugs and human trafficking as well as terror financing.
Cashless Gambling Card Solution
NSW is keen on using modern technology to put an end to money laundering. The gaming regulator and groups like the Alliance for Gambling Reform are pushing for a cashless gambling card to be introduced as it will put an immediate stop to money laundering activities.
Minister Victor Dominello wants the government to seriously look into the possibility of rolling out a universal cashless gambling card as it will give gaming regulators in Australia a chance to reduce problem gambling and put an end to money laundering.