Skip to main content

NSW State Election 2023 - NCOSS Policy Priority 7

Limit the harm caused by pokies on vulnerable communities.

In the first half of 2022, punters across NSW lost almost $4 billion playing the pokies. This is worrying, particularly when low level income Local Government Areas (LGAs) have the highest number of pokies and experience the greatest losses. Evidence supports a well-designed cashless gaming card minimising gambling harm.

Below we outline our solution to this issue, and policy responses from the major parties in the lead up to the 2023 NSW State Election.

NCOSS recommendations

NCOSS calls on the next NSW Parliament to -

  • Mandate use of a cashless gaming card across NSW venues operating pokies, to enable a pre-commitment scheme, voluntary exclusion and other harm minimisation measures.
  • Overhaul the NSW ClubGRANTS scheme so that it provides transparent, targeted funding for those it was designed to benefit – people on low incomes or who are otherwise disadvantaged.

Coalition- NSW Liberal Party and NSW Nationals

Have committed to -

  • Implement a plan to introduce mandatory cashless gaming across all venues by 31 December 2028.
  • Support all 8 recommendations of the NSW Crime Commissioner to eliminate money laundering at pubs and clubs.
  • Establish an independent Transition Taskforce, to operate from April 2023.
  • Implement complementary and mandatory harm minimisation features to curb problem gambling.
  • Ensure continued support for community organisations and ongoing viability of regional and small/medium-sized pubs and clubs.

The Greens NSW

Have committed to -

  • Create a pokies ‘super tax’.
  • Establish a Poker Machine Reparations fund to invest in communities most impacted by gambling and expand harm reduction services.
  • Introduce mandatory state-run cashless gambling card, with harm reduction measures including pre-commitment of time and spending and a statewide exclusion register.
  • Phase pokies out of pubs over 5 years and clubs over 10, providing financial support to small pubs and clubs to help establish alternative revenue streams.
  • Reduce the social costs of gambling to NSW by at least $87 billion over a decade.
  • Prohibit political donations from all organisations that profit from gambling.

NSW Labor

Have committed to -

  • Introduce a mandatory 12-month cashless gaming trial in New South Wales, involving at least 500 machines, to begin on 1 July 2023.
  • Establish an independent panel to oversee the trial, deliver a report, and provide a roadmap to implementing gaming reform across NSW.
  • Pass legislation to ban political parties from accepting financial donations from clubs that have gaming machines.
  • From 1 July 2023, reduce cash feed-in limits from $5000 to $500 per machine for all new poker machines, and work to reduce feed-in limits in existing older machines.
  • Ban all external gaming related signage.
  • Reduce the overall amount of poker machines in New South Wales.
  • Invest in harm minimisation programs through a $100 million fund, overseen by the independent panel.
  • Enshrine Responsible Gaming Officers (RGO) role in law, for venues with more than 20 poker machines.
  • Introduce and expand third party exclusion and mandatory facial recognition to enhance self-exclusion, with a deadline of 30 June 2024 for pubs and clubs to implement facial recognition technology.

Published February 2023. For reference and context, please visit NCOSS Policy Tracker 2023 and NCOSS Policy Platform 2023: Working Together for a Fairer NSW.

Queries about this page to: