New South Wales Politicians Steadfast on Gambling Reforms Ahead of Elections

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Posted on: March 13, 2023, 09:24h. 

Last updated on: March 13, 2023, 12:27h.

New South Wales (NSW), Australia, will hold state elections in less than two weeks, and one thing is perfectly clear. As political parties have previously emphasized, gambling reform at all levels is coming. New comments show how determined the parties are to introduce their own versions.

Slot machines in a gaming venue
Slot machines in a gaming venue. New South Wales, Australia, is determined to see cashless gaming across the state, which is expected to arrive following this month’s elections. (Image: Onya Magazine)

The elections are on March 25, with all 93 seats of the Legislative Assembly and half of those of the Legislative Council up for grabs. Sitting Premier Dominic Perrottet hopes to stay in power for another four years, giving him 16 consecutive years at the top.

Chris Minns, the leader of the NSW Labor Party, is the strongest candidate to unseat him, although oddsmakers have the incumbent way out in front. This would usually mean deals are made to boost the chances for success. But the Labor Party doesn’t want to go that far.

Minns wants stricter regulatory control over the gambling industry, as does the current premier. This includes, in addition to a cashless gaming pilot, a ban on political donations, and the mandatory appointment of responsible gaming officers at bars and other properties that host gambling equipment.

Cashless Still Coming

There have already been cashless pilots, but the Labor Party believes they have been too small. It wants to mandate a trial of 500 machines in order to confirm that the technology works. This would be a slower transition toward all-out cashless gaming. But the opposition leader doesn’t want to speed things up.

This is despite the fact that other, smaller political parties and independents would back him if he did. Australian media outlet Western Australia Today stated that Alex Greenwich and Greg Piper, independents in the Legislative Assembly, are ready to back Minns if he vies for stricter gambling policies.

That’s not going to happen, according to Labor Party spokesperson Daniel Mookhey. The party isn’t willing to negotiate just to win the election. If it did, the party knows that it will owe favors that it might not want to fulfill.

Instead, the Labor Party wants to give voters a chance to decide based on its current platform without having to make compromises. While gambling isn’t the only issue that separates the two leading parties, it is one of the biggest deciding factors in the elections.

Where Parties Stand on Gambling

When it comes to Aussie gambling, there’s no avoiding the fact that changes are coming. The types of change will depend on who runs the government following the elections, and how that party counters the inevitable resistance it will face. Each party has its own take:


  • No cash gambling at bars or other noncasino venues as of 2029
  • Bars and clubs to receive AU$50,000 (US$33,170) to find new sources of income
  • No-interest loans for cashless gaming machine purchases
  • Buyback plan to remove current machines (up to 2,000)
  • No political donations by bars, clubs that offer gambling
  • No advertising of slot machines on the exterior of gaming premises

Labor Party

  • 500 cashless machine pilot
  • Immediate reduction in feed-in limits from AU$5,000 to 500 (US$3,317 to $331.70)
  • No political donations by bars, clubs that offer gambling
  • No advertising of slot machines on the exterior of gaming premises
  • Buyback plan to remove current machines (up to 2,000)
  • Responsible gaming officers in venues
  • Third-party exclusion and mandatory facial recognition solution

This will likely be one of the most pivotal moments in Australia’s political scene for a number of reasons. The next couple of years will see elections in several states, and the current sentiment toward the gambling industry is going to force a transformation across the country.


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