Australia’s Gaming Cards Shouldn’t Be an Issue Says AGR

Pre-paid gaming cards shouldn’t be an issue, argue gambling industry reformist who claims the New South Wales industry is “crying poor.”

NSW Gambling Industry Cites New Potential Losses due to Gaming Cards

The gambling industry in Australia is crying foul of a new proposed pre-paid gaming card to be voted and most likely accepted on the territory of New South Wales that would help consumers stay in power of the amount spent and their gambling habits in general.

Yet, gambling operators have argued that the proposed move would cost thousands of jobs and add further insult to injury by costing $1.8 billion. Gambling reformists are not convinced that the gaming card would impact companies’ core businesses but rather rein in problem gambling spending.

Endorsed by Patricia Bergin, the chief investigator looking into Crown Casino, a cashless gambling solution would potentially reduce harm with all gamblers required to charge up their cards before they play.

Not just that, but Bergin believes that such cards can help fight another sore in the Australian gambling landscape – money-laundering. Organized criminal groups have been using pokies and “mules” to run their dirty cash through Australia, an issue that is finally coming into focus.

While the card will bite a huge chunk out of money-laundering, giving the tax office more power in identifying suspicious behavior and discrepancies in an individual’s income and totally spent, the solution is also going to make it harder for individuals to overspend.

The way this would work is through a centralized solution that would list all problem gamblers and suspend them from play automatically, rendering pokie machines off-limits. Club owners have naturally objected with ClubsNSW, a trade organization, arguing that the industry may face up to $1.8 billion written off in revenue as well as 9,000 jobs lost.

What Additional Costs, Ask Reformists

The numbers, reformists have argued, are unfounded. However, ClubsNSW argues that introducing the card would force additional costs on the establishments, which would have to pay for the setup out of their pocket. However, some insiders have not been taking too fondly to their former professional field.

Troy Stolz, an ex-AML and counter-terrorism financing manager, argued that adding cashless gaming options would not be too difficult at all. In fact, the industry he chose to leave is more than capable of expediting the implementation of all necessary technological prerequisites.

ClubsNSW has already been looking to exchange experience with counterparts based in the United States and planning to migrate on platforms such as Salesforce, Stolz said.

Some, such as Alliance for Gambling Reform boss Tim Costello said that the industry was feigning an inability to support the extra costs. He went to lambast the industry for overblowing its importance to the economy, adding:

“The fact is credible research shows that $1 million spent on meals and other food creates 20 jobs, whereas the same amount spent on gambling only creates three jobs.”

Alliance for Gambling Reform head Tim Costello

Costello also agreed that adding a gaming card would reduce fraudulent activities as well as prevent further gambling harm. Why should that be an issue, Costello asked rhetorically?

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