Tweed Heads club with almost 600 poker machines hosts first cashless gaming trial in NSW

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The New South Wales government’s expanded cashless gaming trial will be put to the test from today as the technology is rolled out at its first venue.

Twin Towns Services Club in Tweed Heads will trial the technology on all of its 596 gaming machines, making it the largest trial site in regional NSW. 

New South Wales Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris said the trial would roll out on 4,000 machines at 27 venues across the state over the next three weeks.

Mr Harris said data from the trial would be analysed by an independent gaming panel to inform the government’s gaming road map later this year.

Twin Towns at Tweed Heads is the first venue to test the technology.(Supplied)

“This will give us a real indication of how the public reacts with the technology and also what tweaks need to be made to ensure people’s privacy and cybersecurity are protected,” he said.

Mr Harris said the government was committed to implementing changes put forward by the independent gaming panel.

“We are absolutely committed to harm minimisation and [stopping] criminals operating within those venues,” he said.

Mr Harris said Tweed Heads was chosen as ground zero for the trial because of its regional status, its location near the Queensland border, and its tourist numbers.

“It will give us some unique insights [into] how this will be rolled out across the whole state if successful,” he said.

Pace of rollout criticised

Figures released by NSW Liquor and Gaming show punters lost more than $50 million playing poker machines in venues across the Tweed Shire in the first half of 2023.

NSW Opposition spokesperson for gaming Kevin Anderson said choosing a larger venue as the first regional site for the rollout did not disguise the slow pace of the government’s plan. 

“They promised a big game on gambling reform and 12 months on we’ve got one club. It’s nowhere near enough,” he said.

Mr Anderson said a venue with hundreds of gaming machines would not paint an accurate picture of the effects the cashless gaming system could have on smaller venues. 

“The thing that concerns me is the financial impact that cashless will have on pubs and clubs,” he said.

“What is the government doing to support those smaller clubs?

“Those smaller venues with 10 machines or less are just as important.”

How it works

Ebet Gaming Systems chief executive Frank Makryllos said the trial would allow users to transfer money into a gaming account and use the system to transfer it to a gaming machine to play.

Mr Makryllos said the process required users to set limits before they started playing.

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