Cashless pokies to be introduced in Oz

New poker machines are to be introduced in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, which issues tickets as winnings rather than cash in attempt to reduce armed robberies and to help tackle problem gambling.

Players will be required to leave the machines to collect their winnings from a booth. Although Clubs New South Wales (which represents over 1,400 different types of clubs) hope the new machines will persuade gamblers to take a break from playing for a long period of time, they realise it is not the answer to problem gambling.

"I don't think anybody's portraying it as the panacea to the issue, but it's there," said chairman, Peter Newell.

"It also removes a level of cash out of the system so it makes clubs less of a target for armed robberies which is an ongoing problem as well."

According to Gaming Minister, Graham West, data can also be collected to study the habits of problem gamblers.

"(They can) identify the habits of people who are problem gamblers, so that we can work with them to reduce that problem," he said.

However, the new machines will not be introduced immediately. They will be slowly phased in over the next five years.

Editor, - 2007-05-16 11:52:08

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