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New paper sets out blueprint for cashless gambling card

31 Jan 2023

ClubsNSW chief’s ‘lollipop comparison’ ridicules efforts to curb gambling harm

The Alliance for Gambling Reform has released a definitive position paper on the best model for a cashless gambling card, warning NSW now has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get poker machine reform right.


The Alliance for Gambling Reform’s Chief Advocate, Tim Costello, said the commitment of the NSW Premier Perrottet to introducing a cashless gambling card had broken the decades-long hold  NSW Clubs has exerted over politics in NSW.


“The latest comments by Clubs NSW chief Josh Landis comparing the $2.18 billion lost on poker machines in NSW (between July 1 and September 30) to people spending money on lollipops – just shows how out of touch the industry is and how disingenuous they are in wanting to help people who are harmed by gambling,” Rev. Costello said.
“We have a golden opportunity to get a cashless gambling card right and I am hopeful the NSW Premier’s details of his proposed model will pave the way for real and lasting change and that the ALP will follow suit and abandon its model of a limited and flawed card trail.”
"If Opposition Leader Chris Minns can break free from the hold of ClubsNSW,  it will give bipartisan support for real reform and neuter the misleading, bullying and aggressive lobbying tactics of the gambling industry.”


Rev. Costello said the position paper highlighted the critical importance of any cashless gambling card was that it must be mandatory with each card registered to an individual user.


“The evidence is clear: approaches relying on voluntary and/or anonymous cashless gambling cards are self-defeating.  They simply do not achieve the aims of minimising gambling harm and/or addressing criminal activity,” the position paper states.
“Indeed, voluntary or anonymous cards may even add to harm by enabling gamblers to distance themselves emotionally from the reality that they are losing their money (a known risk with cashless gambling), without the ability to implement counter measures such as pre-committed spending limits.”


Rev. Costello said the position paper outlined 14 recommendations that any cashless gambling card should adhere to.


The position paper outlines a model that will work to reduce harm, remove the risk of criminal activity and address the glaring problems in the industry highlighted by successive inquiries.”


The Alliance is a national advocacy organisation which works to prevent and minimise the harm from gambling. Our aim is to remove the shame that surrounds gambling, have the problem treated as a public health issue, and achieve the legislative changes needed to protect our communities.


The position paper is available here



Tim Costello is available for interview.



Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704

See here for a gambling language guide for journalists

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