Report Reveals Impact of Cashless Gaming Trial in Wests New Lambton Was Limited

Report Reveals Impact of Cashless Gaming Trial in Wests New Lambton Was LimitedNew South Wales’ gambling regulator has published the results of a cashless gaming trial that ran from October 2022 until June 2023 and involved a total of 144 machines in Newcastle’s Wests New Lambton.

In order to participate, players had to install a digital wallet application courtesy of gambling machine manufacturer Aristocrat on their smartphones, undergo identity verification, and utilise the app to transfer money from their bank accounts to their gaming machines of choice.

The technology provided clients with a range of responsible gambling tools, the most notable of which was the option to set up payment limits. Users were also given the opportunity to enable self-exclusion if necessary. The report evaluating how participants utilised the new technology was prepared by the University of Adelaide’s Professor Paul Delfabbro.

The trial was a part of the NSW’s continued efforts to address gambling-related harm. Other measures include the introduction of responsible gambling officers, who, starting July 2024, will monitor the clients of gambling establishments that operate over 20 gaming machines. As previously reported by Casino Guardian, the said officers will be tasked with identifying signs of problem gambling and assisting clients who exhibit such behaviour.

Key Takeaways

Key TakeawaysIn the takeaway section of the report, it was concluded that cashless payments may have indeed resulted in players having an easier time reining in their spending and that customer reception to the technology was positive after the issue of the slow enrollment process was overcome. However, an emphasis was also placed on how most participants tended to utilise the app and features only temporarily. Clients eventually went back to using systems they were more familiar with, and in general, the impact of the cashless payments was described as “limited.” In addition, the report recommended that improvements be introduced with regard to clarity, the stability of the technology’s Bluetooth connection, the strength of the establishments’ wifi, and other general and venue-specific aspects.

An observation was also made on how well-equipped venues are to adopt cashless payments, with larger businesses being deemed better prepared to implement the technology as opposed to smaller gambling establishments. Moreover, Wests New Lambton did not experience a change in revenue.

Last but not least, the report identified inherent issues with the conducting of such trials in a voluntary manner, i.e., when clients are provided with the option to use legacy systems as opposed to the new technology.

The Trial Was Met With Criticism From Gambling Reform Advocates

The Trial Was Met With Criticism From Gambling Reform AdvocatesAs reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s ABC News, Carol Bennet, who currently serves as the CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, was generally displeased with how the trial was conducted. According to Ms Bennett, the gambling regulator should mandate that the recommendations made by the NSW Crime Commission be implemented. The said measures include mandatory cashless card payments and limits that are set up by default. She further argued that in addition to payment restrictions, limits associated with gameplay time must also be tested and that credit card usage should be disabled by the new technology. Loyalty promotions must also be excluded from gameplay, according to Ms Bennett.

Another person who scrutinised the trial was Belinda Downes, an advocate for gambling reform, who claimed that the study mostly focused on testing the technical aspects of the new technology, as opposed to focusing on harm minimisation which “she would have liked to have seen more” of.

  • Author

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.
Daniel Williams
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