The first cashless gaming trial for NSW has finally begun at Wests Newcastle with up to 200 members using ground-breaking digital technology which includes features to reduce risks of gambling harm and to protect against money laundering.
Technology developed by Aristocrat Gaming has been installed on 36 of Wests’ gaming machines and uses bluetooth to connect patrons’ mobile phones to machines. This will let patrons transfer money directly from the mobile phone’s gaming wallet onto the machine.
Minister for Hospitality and Racing Kevin Anderson said the three-month trial will test how the technology operates in real-life conditions and its potential benefits for venues and patrons.
“The trial is part of an exciting new era where innovations such as digital wallets offer customers greater convenience and control over their spending and help venues and authorities identify suspected cases of money laundering,” he said.
The digital wallet can be used to fund gaming machine play and players can set spending or time limits, access real-time spending data, take a break or self-exclude from gambling and access other responsible gambling tools and services. Patrons cannot load funds into the gaming wallet from the gaming floor. Other limits include session length, frequency of play, amount spent and total bets.
“The digital wallet requires a person’s identity to be confirmed before they can play and they are linked to that person’s debit card or bank account which means authorities can identify where those funds have come from if needed,” Anderson said.
Managing Director Aristocrat Gaming APAC David Ronson said the investment to bring forward and trial cashless payment solutions, through digital wallet technology, and deliver a complete digital experience for patrons is part of Aristocrat’s longstanding commitment to innovation and supporting its customers.
“We’re proud to have proposed this trial, as we believe enabling cashless electronic gaming machine play payment solutions through patron’s mobile phones, is an innovation that can help enhance the long-term sustainability and vibrancy of our industry,” Ronson said.
“Our PRIME Wallet solution offers patrons additional voluntary responsible gameplay tools, developed in consultation with customers, to help further empower patrons to actively manage their play in ways that suit them.”
Wests Group Australia CEO Phil Gardner said the initiative is designed to enhance the patron experience and introduce a new level of convenience and safety.
“This trial builds on our long-standing commitment to patron choice and welfare. We know many of our patrons want the convenience of digital payments, which is part of this trial. The trial also allows us to offer a powerful new suite of digital tools to empower our members and allow them to set limits, speak to a staff member, or even exclude themselves from the club if they choose.”
Clubs NSW CEO Josh Landis said the club industry is looking forward to the trial taking place, and the eventual results.
“We are excited to see the digital wallet trial kick off at Wests Newcastle and we look forward to seeing the results,” he said.
“The club industry is committed to being proactive in the responsible gambling and anti-money laundering spaces, and this trial – which ClubsNSW proposed in 2018 – is just another example of that.
“We believe that people should have the ability to pay for play on a poker machine using cash or a digital wallet, just as they have options in how they pay for any other form of entertainment, and we look forward to more digital wallet trials commencing in clubs across the state soon.”