Government must act on Gambling Card after scrapping Clubs Bill


The Government must introduce a mandatory gambling card after news it has scrapped its bill that would have put facial recognition technology in every club and pub in NSW, says Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and gambling harm reduction spokesperson.

“This bill was ill-considered and dangerous and it’s a huge relief that it’s off the table. But it’s disgraceful that it was put forward by the government in the first place,” said Ms Faehrmann.

“The fact that the clubs industry said ‘jump’ and the governments and the opposition said ‘how high’ shows just how much the gambling industry has the major parties under its thumb.

“If it wasn’t for the timing of the NSW Crime Commission’s report, the government would have allowed facial recognition technology in every pub and club in NSW with the full backing of the opposition.

“We were looking forward to amending the bill to put in place what actually works to stop money laundering and reduce gambling harm and that’s a cashless gambling card.

“Gambling is wrecking the lives of thousands of people in NSW. We know what the solution is and it’s not facial recognition technology. Iit’s a mandatory gambling card with time and spending limits.

“Former Gambling Minister Victor Dominello’s proposal for a cashless gambling card is two years old. It could have been rolled out to every pub and club in the state by now but instead he was stripped of the gambling portfolio while this Government tied itself in knots to do anything except introduce a card.

“Any technology used to implement an exclusion register must be run by the State. This bill would have put all the power into the hands of clubs and pubs, literally putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.

“A gambling card would cripple money laundering operations and be the most effective gambling harm reduction measure the state has ever seen. It's time for the Government to stand up to the gambling industry and make it happen,” said Ms Faehrmann