Friday, June 21, 2024

Newcastle to trial cashless pokies

Liquor and Gaming NSW has received the first trial proposal for the use of cashless gaming machines at a venue in NSW.

The trial, led by Aristocrat Gaming and Wests Newcastle, will see cashless payments for all club services including electronic gaming machines.

Minister for Digital and Customer Service, Victor Dominello said it is encouraging to see leaders in the industry step up and venues embrace this technology trial. 

“I support this digital proposal as it is linked to identity, a bank account and with harm minimisation settings,” the Minister said.

“This will help us combat the twin sins of money laundering and problem gambling, addressing the key concerns of the Bergin Inquiry.
“I acknowledge the efforts of Aristocrat and Wests and thank them for working with the NSW government on this important trial.” 

CEO Aristocrat Gaming and Chief Transformation Officer, Mitchell Bowen said the investment to bring forward and trial cashless payment solutions and deliver a complete digital experience for patrons is part of Aristocrat’s longstanding commitment to innovation, and supporting its customers.

“Our solution also offers additional gameplay tools, developed in consultation with industry, to help further empower patrons to manage their play,” Mr Bowen said. 

“Aristocrat believes that enabling cashless payment solutions is an innovation that may help enhance the long-term sustainability and vibrancy of our industry.

“Aristocrat will continue to bring forward innovations that are practical, enhance customer choice and have the potential to help reduce problem gambling without unduly impacting choice and amenity for the majority of recreational players. 

“We look forward to learning from the results of the trial.”

CEO of Wests Newcastle, Phil Gardner said the initiative is designed to improve the patron experience even further, and introduce a new level of convenience and safety. 

“At the core of our operation is a commitment to outstanding customer service, and a dedication to providing quality venues, food and entertainment for our 116,000 members.

“This trial builds on our long-standing commitment to their welfare.

“A powerful new suite of responsible digital tools will empower our members and allow them to set limits, speak to a staff member, or even exclude themselves from the club. 

“The ability for our members to use their own mobile wallet to pay for a meal, membership and gaming is something our industry hasn’t seen before.”

The trial will take place at the New Lambton venue in Newcastle and will be independently assessed by an academic researcher and Liquor & Gaming NSW.

Aristocrat is currently developing its digital solution and expects installation and testing at the club to commence at the beginning of August, with the live trial to commence in September. 

A requirement of the trial will be that customers need to supply Proof of Identity equivalent to 100 points and have their digital wallet linked to an Australian bank account.

The Wests Newcastle-Aristocrat trial will include responsible gambling measures including money limits, session time limits, information and real-time messaging to customers and marshals.   

It’s hoped that by trialing the new technology in closed environments, both industry and Liquor & Gaming NSW can assess innovative gaming products and practices and assess their gambling harm impacts in a real-world, but controlled setting.

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