NSW to Institute Cashless Pokies By 2028

If you play real money pokies at pubs and clubs in New South Wales, things will soon change in a major way. Over the weekend, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet revealed his plan for pokies reform in the region. His plan will require all pokies in NSW to go cashless by the end of 2028.

As part of the plan, players will be subject to limits on the amount they can play on machines. While some feel that the program could lead to the loss of jobs, money will be available to many locations to convert to cashless gambling.

Pokies Will Go Cashless By The End of 2028

For months, we’ve been hearing from the NSW Premier regarding his plan for pokies reform. He finally revealed that plan last weekend, which is touted as one of the most comprehensive in history.

Under the new scheme, all pokies in NSW must go cashless by the end of 2028. Saying that the time for trials has passed, Perrorttet’s plan will start the phase-out of cash machines beginning in April 2023. In April, about 2,000 poker machines will become cashless in the region. The remaining pokies must be converted before the end of 2028.

For machines that become cashless, players must make pre-commitments on those machines. Players will be restricted to a single bank account for play. Furthermore, any new cash-based machines installed after April must have a limit of $500 per day.

The biggest change in the program will be for the self-exclusion scheme. Presently, players must contact individual locations to request exclusion. Now, a player can request to go on self-exclusion at a single site, and they will be automatically excluded from all pubs and clubs. Couple this with cashless gambling, and we will see a significant step forward in combating problem gambling in the region.

Money is Available to Assist With Conversions

The biggest complaint about any proposed plan from the Premier was that it would cost jobs in NSW. ClubsNSW has spoken out against Perrotttets plans, stating that any cashless plans would become a financial albatross on clubs and pubs.

As part of Perrottet’s plan, there will be money available to clubs and pubs to assist with the transition. No-interest loans will be available for smaller and medium-sized venues to help with conversions to cashless gambling. Also, venues can apply for grants of $50,000. These grants will be for alternative income streams such as bowling greens, live music, and more.

The total amount available to pubs and clubs is $60 million. However, only $20 million will go to smaller clubs and pubs. The remaining $40 million will go to regional establishments. For larger operators, the government is sponsoring a buyback program for up to 2,000 pokies.

Transition to Cashless Gambling Was Inevitable

Perrottet’s plan is a first step toward securing cashless gambling in the region. His cabinet has approved it, but legislation still needs to be passed to make the plan a reality. Also, opposing parties are contemplating floating their own plans for pokies reform. Those plans would include stricter limits on playing time, losses, and more.

Regardless of its ultimate form, pokies reform was an inevitability. ClubsNSW was trying to find a way to get around cashless gambling, but the problems surrounding pokies could not be overlooked. We only have to look to the major casinos in Australia to see the issues at play regarding money laundering. Also, the system for combating problem gambling was not as efficient as it could be.

While we are supporters of legal gambling, we cannot overlook the fact that proper regulation is necessary to keep players safe. We applaud the steps the Premier is taking and look forward to the inevitable positive change it will bring.

Rose Varrelli avatar
Rose Varrelli
Senior Casino & News Writer

Hi there! I’m Rose, and with nine years behind me in the iGaming industry, I craft engaging narratives at CasinoAus. My education in Communication across Europe has sharpened my skills in fintech, casino legislation, and digital marketing. Backed by a strong foundation in SEO, storytelling, and cross-cultural communication, I’m passionate about creating content that resonates globally and educates our audience.

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