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Nation’s first cashless poker machine card to be applauded -
Tasmanian move will reduce harm and combat money laundering

15 Sept 2022

The Alliance for Gambling Reform has praised the Tasmanian Government’s move to introduce

a mandatory cashless card for all poker machines, hailing it as a significant move to reduce

harm and to combat money laundering.

The Alliance’s chief advocate, Tim Costello, said the cashless card was a move that the Alliance

had long campaigned for and the Tasmanian government’s leadership on this issue was to be


“This is the very system that was proposed in NSW but was blocked due to the fierce lobbying of the gambling industry – their opposition shows that it will work in reducing the harm that poker machines do in our society,” Rev. Costello said.
“This is the first significant blow to a $24 billion industry that has been impervious to efforts to reign it in. The challenge now is for NSW Premier Dom Perrottet and Victoria’s Dan Andrews to show true leadership and follow suit in introducing the cashless card.
“The Tasmanian Government and Deputy Premier, Michael Ferguson, have led the nation on introducing this critical reform.”

Rev Costello said the move meant people could not play poker machines using cash, instead

they had to register for a card and in doing so they had to prove their identity – which was a

hammer-blow to criminals who wanted to launder money.

The card also has a 24 hour $100 default limit on it, which means once you have lost $100 you

are locked out and then have to take action to have the limit lifted, Rev Costello said.

“The impact on criminals and those who are having their lives destroyed by poker machines will be profound. This is a great day in seeking to reduce the terrible harm done by poker machines and an exploitative industry that up until now has been unchallenged,” Rev. Costello said.

Australians lost more than $11.4 billion to poker machines in pubs and clubs across five states

last year, according to the latest analysis of loss data.

The Alliance’s cashless gambling policy is available here.

The Alliance is a national advocacy organisation which works to prevent and minimize the harm

from gambling. Our aim is to remove the shame that surrounds gambling addiction, have the problem treated as a public health issue, and achieve the legislative changes needed to protect

our communities. We bring together well over 60 organisations who share the objectives of

preventing harm from gambling.

Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704

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