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Crown Casino has been working diligently toward enacting cashless gaming at its casino. On Thursday, the casino announced that it has enacted carded play on its 2,500 poker machines. The new system will require players to set spending and loss limits on play.
The technology has come at a sizeable expense to the casino, and the casino is willing to share its rollout information with anyone looking to enact carded gaming.
On Thursday, Crown Casino announced that it has instituted carded play on its 2,500 poker machines. The casino has made a ‘significant investment in gambling harm prevention” with this move. This news follows some more recent changes to the Crown Casino franchise which resulted in the Sydney branch closing its doors.
The move is part of the YourPlay scheme set forth by the Victorian Government. Starting on 14 December, players will now be required to sign up for a Crown Player Card to play electronic gaming machines. The card monitors and tracks play, helping players and the casino get ahead of problem gambling.
Players will be required to set time and spending limits on the card. They can also track and monitor their play through Player Activity Statements. This includes how much time they’ve been playing and how much they’ve lost in the session.
Next, the card will also have player safety checks. The Crown PlaySafe team will be able to identify potential problem gamblers and conduct safety checks on them. Finally, the cards will have access to information and resources for responsible gambling, including access to information about help organisations. Whether these new measures will be implemented at online casinos in Australia is yet to confirmed.
Crown Melbourne CEO Mike Volkert spoke on the move, stating, “Crown Melbourne is committed to providing an environment where our guests can enjoy themselves and have confidence in the support and safeguards available to them.
“The changes are part of a number of world-leading reforms being implemented across Crown, and we look forward to the positive impact carded play will have on our guests and the broader community.”
Crown Melbourne has dedicated significant capital toward this new initiative. Volkert recently told The Age that the technology used to power carded gaming cost the casino “north of $20 million.” This may seem like a steep investment, but it does help bring the casino more into compliance and will improve its chances of keeping its license.
While some people have exhibited concerns over a carded playing system, Volkert doesn’t believe that the system will significantly impact pokies earnings. He believes the greatest challenge will be educating casual tourists unfamiliar with a carded gaming system.
He states, “We need to educate them, enrol them quickly and get them over that kind of learning curve…I think for us [that] is probably the biggest challenge.”
Crown Perth is also working on instituting carded gaming, and some are hopeful that Crown’s example will influence regional clubs and pubs to take similar action. Some believe those looking to circumvent Crown’s carded system will go to pubs and clubs.
However, clubs and pubs are slowly moving toward a carded playing system. Crown Melbourne is willing to help meet that goal Volkert stated that Crown is “absolutely willing and happy” to share any information they can on the rollout of carded gaming to anyone looking to institute carded gaming.
“We just have to work together and we need to have a common-sense approach to … solve some very important problems. If we can share some of that with the industry, we’re very happy to do that.”
NSW is looking to expand its carded gaming trials to over 4,500 pokies in early 2024, and other regions continue to move toward that goal. Crown’s insight could provide the extra push some need to speed up the process.