A first cashless gaming trial is to commence in the Australian state of New South Wales today (Monday 10 October), with the maiden test seeing Aristocrat Gaming tech be installed at Wests Newcastle.
With up to 200 members able to utilise the offering, which includes features to reduce risks of gambling harm and to protect against money laundering, Kevin Anderson, minister for Hospitality and Racing, suggested that the three-month evaluation intends to assess benefits for venues and patrons.
Examples of limits that can be set using the technology include session length, frequency of play, total net expenditure in a given period and maximum total bets within a specific time frame.
Furthermore, users can choose which of these limits to activate, and can choose multiple limits which cannot then be altered for 24 hours.
“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,” Anderson said.
“Technology developed by Aristocrat Gaming has been installed on 36 of the Wests club’s gaming machines using Bluetooth to connect patrons’ mobile phones to machines.
“The technology will allow for a Bluetooth connection between a patron’s mobile phone and the machine. This will let patrons transfer money directly from the gaming wallet on their phone onto the machine.
“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.
“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.”
David Ronson, Managing Director Aristocrat Gaming APAC, added that the investment in cashless payment solutions, through digital wallet tech, comes as the group aims to “deliver a complete digital experience for patrons”.
“This trial builds on our long-standing commitment to patron choice, and welfare,” said Phil Gardner, CEO of The Wests Group Australia.
“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.”
Furthermore, it was also noted that the government has also approved three other gaming manufacturers to conduct similar trials, with a further application currently being assessed.
“The trials will explore different technologies and solutions to enable cashless gaming play in NSW, and trial important harm minimisation measures which will help individuals to take greater control of their gambling,” Anderson ended.