Australia has gone through some massive overhauls of its gambling industry over the past months with probes launched into Crown Resorts and Star Entertainment Group. More upheavals are coming with proposed facial recognition, cashless gaming cards, and more impacting the sector with different interests and groups vying to find a middle ground.
Pokie Reform to Face Heavy Opposition Headwinds
The latest clash comes from New South Wales premier Dominic Perrottet who said that he would do everything in his power to ensure that pokie machines are reformed. The sector is linked to millions of ill-gotten funds being funneled through bars and clubs in the state, which has prompted regulatory scrutiny and elicited a willingness to act from lawmakers.
Not everyone is happy, however, with ClubsNSW pronouncing itself against attempts to reform the pokie sector in the manner suggested by the government which risks alienating punters, the lobby group argues. But the language has already got robust with ClubsNSW singling out MPs that are backing efforts to solve what Perrottet has described as a “major societal issue.”
ClubsNSW is preparing to go after MP Helen Dalton who has joined the efforts to introduce controls in pubs and clubs that will make it harder for criminals to use these venues to launder money. ClubsNSW head Josh Landis was among the people to speak sternly against attempts to introduce cashless gaming options for the state’s clubs.
Premier and Lobbyists at Daggers Drawn
But this does not justify the campaign to discredit Dalton with posters reading “Helen, your attack on local clubs is wrong” across venues in the state. ClubsNSW does enjoy local support, mostly from the Nationals, and is hoping that its campaign could translate into legislative action on the part of the party to help it stop the Perrottet-led initiative.
He simply stated, cited by The Guardian: “My members are not going to be threatened, because we are focused on doing what’s right.” Meanwhile, the Nationals and their leader, Paul Toole, have been reluctant to take on the premier head-on, but the party has said that the technology “just isn’t there” to make the introduction of cashless gaming safe and reliable.
A pitch to trial a voluntary cashless system was heard in November along with the first gripes against such a solution.
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