How the Up Coming Elections Will Affect the Casino Industry in Australia

Robert Longthorpe - Senior Writer
Robert Longthorpe
23 March 2023 in News
NSW Elections Set To Change Gambling Laws In AU

The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) will have elections shortly, and gambling enthusiasts can expect a few changes in the state's gambling laws. This comes as a welcome change considering the recent charges being brought against numerous land based casinos such as The Star Entertainment Group. Political parties contesting for the elections are determined to introduce different gambling policies, and we may expect amended gambling laws soon. How will these laws affect real money online casinos, and what is the future of the gambling industry is AU? Read on to find out.

A Glimpse into the Past

New South Wales was the first state in Australia to legalize and regulate poker machines in 1956. But people played them illegally even before that. In 1932, the NSW government initiated an enquiry into fruit machines.

Technological developments led to the quick spread of sophisticated poker machines throughout the state after that initial enquiry of 1932. In early 2022, Liquor and Gaming NSW reported that residents lost $2 million per day or a total of $3.8 billion playing poker in NSW.

Whenever elections approach in NSW, residents wonder if the new lawmakers will change gambling laws and policies. It is the same situation during these elections too.

Premier Dominic Perrottet says his coalition government will make all poker machines across NSW cashless by 2028 if re-elected. The Labour Party’s gambling policies are less strict and include introducing cashless technology in 500 of the 90,000 poker machines in the state.

How the Gambling Industry May Change

NSW will hold elections on March 25. Half the seats in the Legislative Council and all the seats in the Legislative Assembly are up for grabs. Premier Dominic Perrottet wants to hold on to his position for another term. If that happens, he will be in power for 16 consecutive years.

Labour Party leader Chris Minns is determined to unseat Premier Dominic Perrottet, although political experts predict he has a slim chance of success. Minns is eager to introduce his gambling policies, including adding a cashless gaming pilot, banning political donations, and appointing responsible gambling officers at bars and other gambling establishments.

Strict Gambling Policies and Cashless Slots

Cashless pilots are not new to NSW, but Minns feels the need for expansion. If elected to power, Minns will introduce cashless technology in 500 poker machines on a trial basis to confirm that it will work. Then, there would be a slow transition to make slots completely cashless.

The opposition leader wants to take things slowly, although independent candidates and smaller political parties are willing to support him if he changes his gambling policies.

According to a Western Australia Today report, Greg Piper and Alex Greenwich, both independent members of the Legislative Assembly, are willing to support Minns if he makes his gambling policies stricter.

But Daniel Mookhey, spokesperson of the Labour Party, confirms that this will not happen as the party is unwilling to negotiate only to win elections. The party is aware that it may owe favours it wouldn’t want to fulfil if it does so.

Instead, the party wants to leave things to the voters. Gambling policy is not the only issue that separates the two top parties, but it is a major deciding factor for the upcoming elections.

Where Parties Stand on Gambling

Irrespective of who wins the upcoming NSW elections, changes are definite in Aussie gambling. However, the nature of the changes depends on the ruling party and its ability to handle opposition.

Each party has gambling policies of its own. The incumbents want cashless gambling at gambling venues by 2029. Also, clubs and bars will receive AU$50,000 to identify new income sources and loans to purchase cashless gambling machines. The incumbent policy also includes buyback plans to eliminate up to 2,000 existing machines and a complete ban on political donations and slot machine advertisements outside gambling premises.

The Labour Party’s gambling policy includes a 500 cashless machine pilot and an immediate reduction of feed-in limits to AU$500 from AU$5,000. Like the incumbents, it wants to ban political donations and advertising of slot machines outside gambling premises. It also wants to appoint responsible gambling officers in gambling venues and introduce mandatory facial recognition, third-party exclusion, and buyback plans to eliminate up to 2,000 existing machines.

To Conclude

The upcoming elections in NSW will be a significant political scene in Australia. Over the next two years, several Australian states will hold elections, and existing feelings towards the gambling industry will accelerate transformation in gambling policies and laws countrywide.

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