Spearheading the drive towards comprehensive gaming reforms, the panel tackled pressing issues, including the imminent cashless gaming trial and the roadmap for the industry’s transformation.
Panel’s Commitment to Cashless Gaming Framework Lauded by Minister
Minister for gaming and racing, David Harris, expressed his satisfaction with the Independent Panel’s commitment to meticulously craft the framework for the upcoming cashless gaming trial. The trial, which has garnered significant attention, aims to revolutionize the gaming landscape by introducing cashless transactions while ensuring robust data security and privacy safeguards.
Harris stated: “The Panel’s first priority is to confirm the design and regulatory settings for the expanded cashless gaming trial, to ensure it can start as soon as possible.”
The ambitious endeavor involves selecting the ideal mix of venues encompassing hotels and clubs across both urban and rural domains.
The panel, led by former NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing Commissioner Michael Foggo, will also furnish the NSW Government with a comprehensive gaming reform implementation roadmap by November 2024. This roadmap encompasses various facets, including recommendations on the utilization of a $100 million harm minimization fund, the expansion of self-exclusion records, the facilitation of third-party exclusions, and the integration of facial recognition technology to support enhanced exclusion systems.
Independent Panel’s Scope Expands to ClubGRANTS and Regulatory Revamp
The reform agenda does not encompass only that. The Independent Panel’s purview extends to reviewing the ClubGRANTS Scheme, conducted in coordination with Liquor & Gaming NSW, The Cabinet Office, and NSW Treasury. Although undertaken separately, this evaluation aligns with the panel’s ongoing efforts to reshape the gaming landscape. Chairman Michael Foggo affirmed:
“The panel is set up so that a range key stakeholders and experts are represented including industry, gambling harm minimization experts, academic experts, law enforcement and cyber security. It also has the ability to seek input from other external experts in the field and government bodies such as the NSW Crime Commission, the NSW Information and Privacy Commission and AUSTRAC.”
This transformative journey follows a series of pivotal reforms already set in motion by the NSW Government. Measures like the prohibition of external signage in gaming rooms, reductions in poker machine entitlement caps, and stringent cash input limits have aimed to curtail gambling harm and combat illicit activities.
Furthermore, the reforms will also include a national gambling regulator and a ban on all forms of gambling advertising, with an emphasis on strengthening consumer protection and reducing harm. The move towards stricter regulations is fueled by a desire to better safeguard consumers and curb the negative impacts of gambling.