Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Crown Casino / ClubsNSW Disguise

The Productivity Commission found that cashless gaming may disguise the fact that people are spending "real" money on machines. As one might expect, cashless gaming is aggressively promoted at Crown through brochures and computerised terminals spread through out the casino floor. Here's what the brochure looks like:The New Zealand (Government) Gambling Compliance Group argued that cashless systems:
"... can preserve player anonymity and permit the rapid transfer of large amounts of money into gaming machines without breaks in play. These sorts of systems can exacerbate problem gambling behaviours by facilitating extended, continuous, repetitive and/or anonymous, emotionally detached play."
My opinion is that the permission to operate cashless pokie gambling at Crown runs contrary to both the Minister for Gaming and the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation's legal obligation to foster responsible gambling in the casino in order to minimise harm caused by problem gambling; and accommodate those who gamble without harming themselves or others.

Anyone who follows pokie news will be aware of the doom and destruction ClubsNSW predict if pre-commitment as undertaken by the Gillard government is implemented. ClubsNSW speak of enormous retrofitting of machines and lay-off of staff. Others speak to compromising the security of the machine by adding on technology.

My own inspection of leading clubs extensive use of cashless gambling strikes down these arguments as false.

Firstly, cashless gambling technology is an add-on.

Secondly, I have been informed that the cost per machine is about $1,000. This rate was likely achieved because of the size of the market. One would expect that the cost per machine would be similar should there be a similar mass market.

These facts reveal the hypocrisy of ClubsNSW position. When it comes to ripping more money from gamblers they have plenty of money to pony up but not when it comes to impeding their $800 million a year addiction to the losses incurred at their venues by problem gamblers.

Finally, cashless gambling also helps NSW reduce staff as the cash changing process automates.

1 comment:

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