The idea surrounding the emergence of cashless pokies in NSW has faced some pretty serious backlash. However, when you understand that the idea was to only allow people to use government backed gambling cards instead of cash, then you can begin to see why people, and prominent politicians, felt that this was a line that should not be crossed.
According to those that created support this move, cashless gaming would involve players registering and then being required to pre-load cards in order to then play video poker machines. The politicians behind this idea portrayed it as a means to help tackle problem gambling, with the goal being to effectively eliminate and control access by those individuals that had shown high usage.
Of course, New South Wales has had various attempts to control and restrict gambling, both offline and online, but it does feel as if this is trying to take things to a whole new level with this move. While harm linked to gambling is a real problem, is this the way that things need to proceed?
Should the Government Be Allowed to Interfere?
This concept does open up a debate surrounding the ability of the government to interfere in gambling matters. It’s understandable that they want to control access from a licence perspective, but on such an individual basis, some may think this is a completely different thing.
For those arguing against the plan, they think it’s too much like Big Brother controlling and telling them what to do. While problem gambling is clearly an issue for some, they feel that it’s best to offer more help that is readily available instead of clamping down in this manner.
This is also connected to problems surrounding civil liberties. The government seems to be studying individual actions and then deciding if they will allow them to continue. To then also partly use the pandemic as a reason for bringing this in, as problem gambling has reportedly increased during this time, also comes across as trying to develop an excuse rather than honestly explaining what lies behind these attempted moves.
Cashless pokies will probably not become a lasting thing. There is too much criticism surrounding it, and people will find ways around it all anyway, so it would be pointless.
There are other ways and means out there to help stop problem gamblers, but forcing them into trying to circumvent restrictions is not the way to go. Thankfully, there are some politicians out there that are capable of seeing this, and hopefully stopping this policy in its tracks.