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NSW Government Proposes Mandatory Cashless Poker Machine Card

Niji Narayan

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NSW Government Proposes Mandatory Cashless Poker Machine Card
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The NSW state government is planning to introduce cashless pre-loaded cards for poker machines.

Under the proposal, anyone using a poker machine in NSW would be required to register a card with the state government on which money would be pre-loaded. The card would be linked to the state exclusion register to instantly identify self-excluded players.

“Gaming revenue has fallen 14% year-on-year as a result of the 10-week industry shutdown, while food and beverage takings are down 60% to 70%,” Clubs NSW chief Josh Landis said.

“I don’t think anyone would agree that the middle of a pandemic is the right time to introduce onerous new compliance requirements.”

Tim Costello, head of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, offered his support for introducing a cashless card, describing NSW as “effectively the non-casino pokies capital of the world.” He did, however, express concern that using a pre-loaded card may result in players “losing the sense of losing ‘real’ money if everything was digital … but this could be overcome with the right design and functionality.”

Australia

Lottoland app approved for Google Play Stores in Sweden and Australia

George Miller

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Lottoland app approved for Google Play Stores in Sweden and Australia
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Lottoland’s Android app is now available to download from the Google Play Store in four regions.

As of the 7th April, the Lottoland app is now also available in the Google Play Store for users in Sweden and Australia following Google’s decision earlier in March 2021 to adjust its access guidelines to allow gambling apps in additional jurisdictions.

Sweden is the most active market for Android downloads with an average of five downloads per smartphone user per month, according to mobile market research group research2guidance.

App users can bet on the outcome of draws, get the latest results and, if theirs are winning bets, win real money with the chance of becoming a jackpot millionaire.

Lottoland CEO Nigel Birrell said: “We are very excited that the Lottoland app is becoming more readily available to Android users and anyone using the Google Play Store. A significant percentage of the population own Android smartphones and a huge 85%* of the app market is maintained by Android, so this is definitely a reason to celebrate.

“We know that a large portion of Lottoland users find and communicate with us via mobile devices and we can’t wait to see how these new audiences in Sweden and Australia get on.”

Google’s Play Store celebrated 28 billion downloads globally in 2020**, a figure that has increased year on year as the popularity of apps continues to rise and consumers rely more heavily on smartphones for their daily life.

 

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Australia

NSW Regulator: Crown Likely to Regain Sydney Licence This Year

Niji Narayan

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NSW Regulator: Crown Likely to Regain Sydney Licence This Year
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New South Wales chief gaming regulator Philip Crawford has said that the reinstatement of Crown Resorts’ license in New South Wales is a “realistic prospect.”

Since the ILGA officially declared Crown Resorts unsuitable to hold a state licence for its Crown Sydney casino, the casino operator has begun an attempt to put its ship in order to gain approval for the opening of the new casino.

Several board members have resigned, and Helen Coonan has stepped in as executive chairman on an interim basis replacing former CEO Ken Barton. It is now working to provide the ILGA with a written action plan.

The head of the New South Wales regulator, Philip Crawford, has said that Crown has made progress but needs to demonstrate complete rehabilitation to be found suitable to hold its licence.

Crawford stated: “Let’s be under no illusion, if I’m not satisfied, if the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority’s not satisfied that they have rehabilitated themselves, they won’t be found suitable.”

However, he also noted that the reinstatement of the licence in the second half of this year is a “realistic prospect.”

Blackstone Group has made an unsolicited non-binding offer to acquire all remaining shares in Crown Resorts for AU$11.85 cash per share.

However, Blackstone Group’s proposal is subject to several conditions, including arranging debt finance.

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Australia

Victorian Govt Funds Six Research Projects Studying Gambling Behaviours During COVID-19

Niji Narayan

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Victorian Govt Funds Six Research Projects Studying Gambling Behaviours During COVID-19
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Australia’s Victorian state government will provide AU$600,000 in grants via the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation to support research into how the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns impacted the gambling behaviours of residents.

With a theme of “Gambling in Victoria in 2020 – COVID-19 and beyond,” the funding round provides grants to six research projects covering topics such as “Economic insecurity and gambling behaviors in Victoria in the COVID-19 society” and “How Victorian venue gamblers kept busy during COVID-19 venue closures: can substituted leisure activities reduce gambling urges and the risk of gambling harm?”

The six projects will each receive between AU$50,000 and AU$150,000 over the next three years with the findings slated to help the Foundation shape future initiatives and activities to prevent and reduce gambling harm in the Victorian community.

“The most recent publicly available data shows online race and sports betting increased by 30% compared to the same period the year before. It’s critical we understand and learn from these changes in gambling behaviour,” Shane Lucas, CEO of Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, said.

“We know that throughout the pandemic and the associated lockdown, some Victorians benefitted from an enforced break from in-venue gambling, while others found it incredibly challenging. To be able to plan and respond to gambling harm effectively, we need to know how COVID-19 affected gambling behaviors. This funding will be incredibly beneficial in understanding how those vulnerable to gambling were impacted by the pandemic,” Melissa Horne, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, said.

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