Independent Panel Revealed for NSW Cashless Gambling Trial

Independent Panel Revealed for NSW Cashless Gambling Trial

New South Wales recently suspended its cashless gambling trial after a cybersecurity attack. The trial is expected to resume by November and will be overseen by an independent panel. That panel was announced last week.

Former Liquor, Gaming and Racing commissioner Michael Foggo will lead a 16-member independent panel that is now tasked with overseeing the cashless gambling trial. The panel is expected to report its findings to Parliament by November 2024.

Former Commissioner Foggo to Lead Independent Panel

Cashless gambling trials in NSW will resume before the end of the year and will be overseen by an independent panel. The 16-member committee was revealed last week and is tasked with creating a new 12-month cashless gambling trail for the state.

The panel will include the following:

  • Four gambling harm minimisation experts
  • Four gaming industry representatives
  • Two academics
  • One representative from the NSW Police
  • One cybersecurity expert

The executive committee members will oversee the panel. They include:

  • Michael Foggo – Former commission of Liquor, Gaming and Racing
  • Ursula Stephens – Former Labour Senator
  • Niall Blair – Former NSW Nationals deputy leader

Foggo spoke on the panel, stating, “We want to make sure we get the balance right and consider all relevant factors so that any future reforms implemented by the NSW government work.

The independent panel will get straight to work and meet in the coming weeks to confirm the framework of the cashless gaming trail and recommend an appropriate mix of venues for the trial to the NSW government.”

In addition to the cashless gambling trial, the panel has also been tasked with providing advice on using facial recognition technology. They are also asked to give opinions on the self-exclusion register, including system and technical standards.

Foggo Wants Trail Expanded to 3,000 Machines

The cashless gambling trial in its present form will only cover 500 pokies in NSW. Panel head Foggo would like to see this number expanded by 2,500. According to Foggo, increasing the number of pokies in the trial may provide better data for the report as it would include additional venues and a broader range of situations.

Foggo states, “Three thousand probably represents about 4% [of machines in the state], and that’s getting towards a reasonable amount.” Foggo hopes the trial shows that cashless gambling is feasible for NSW.

He states, “I’d love to see a situation where you say cashless gaming works. Here’s the evidence that proves that it does work and that industries are happy enough with that result.”

Premier Promises to Enact Cashless Gambling If It Works

NSW Premier Chris Minns fully supports the cashless trial and is poised to approve cashless gambling if it proves successful. In a report from The Guardian, Minns states, “If cashless gaming works, we will implement it.”

Minns further committed to releasing the finding of the panel’s report to the public. He did qualify his statements with the possibility that a dissenting report may also occur due to the panel’s membership. Since there are potentially conflicting committee members, a consensus may not be reached.

According to Minns, “This is the first time that those who are passionately in favour of harm minimisation and gambling reform, as well as the industry, have served on the same panel at the same time.” He went on to say that panel members that don’t agree with the primary report are free to create a minority report to be debated.

Cashless trials are expected to resume by November and continue for a year. The panel will work to create the framework for the trial in the coming weeks.

Henry Walker

Henry Walker

Head of Casinos

Since 2017, Henry has brought his professional insight and passion for casino games to the world of Australian Internet Pokies. He’s our resident fact checker who goes through online casinos with a fine-tooth comb, searching for the best casinos, pokies and promotions.

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