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Inexcusable clubs’ data breach spotlights need for cashless gambling card

2 May 2024

The data breach by a string of NSW and ACT Clubs is inexcusable and damaging and would have been avoided by a centralised, secure universal cashless gambling card system, the Alliance for Gambling Reform CEO Carol Bennett, says.

“This breach highlights just how unaccountable clubs are and how haphazard they are with the mountain of private information they routinely collect from the public – without direct consent,” she said.
“To simply give this confidential data to a third party IT provider in the United States shows how flawed the current system is.”

Ms Bennett said the current ad hoc system where clubs ‘all do their own thing’ with confidential and sensitive private data is unacceptable.

“And the answer is not digital wallets which are also not secure as we have seen in the flawed and unnecessary trial sluggishly being conducted in NSW – which has also suffered data breaches,” Ms Bennett said.
“The answer is to have a properly funded, secure, centralised mandatory cashless gambling card that all clubs must adopt. Then the information is secure and it is not able to be used in a cavalier way at the whim of individual clubs.”

Ms Bennett said the NSW Crime Commission found that a mandatory cashless gambling card with pre-set limits would also reduce gambling harm and combat money laundering.

Australians lose over $25 billion each year to gambling, the highest per capita spend in the world.  Poker machines (only in clubs and pubs on the east coast of Australia) accounted for $14.5 billion in losses in 22/23. NSW loses more than $8b of the overall national figure.

These losses are disproportionately experienced by the people who can least afford it: people living with financial and other forms of stress, and people with mental health issues and addiction problems.

Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704

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