A new bill proposing the implementation of cashless gaming cards with daily spending limits is under consideration in the state of Queensland.
If passed, the bill would allow players to set a limit on the amount they can spend on gambling per day, with an upper limit of between $1,000 and $1,500 being considered.
This move has been met with support from former Prime Minister John Howard, who has praised the bill as a "courageous" and "wise" approach to tackling gambling addiction in the state.
Howard stated, "It is important that we take a measured approach to addressing the issue of gambling addiction, rather than simply implementing a ban. This bill strikes a good balance between protecting the community and allowing players to continue to enjoy their favorite pastime responsibly."
Queensland would become the second state to introduce such measures, following in the footsteps of Tasmania which currently has a spending limit of $100 a day, $500 a week and $5,000 annually.
The bill aims to minimize harm caused by gambling addiction to the community and at the same time, cut off the ability of criminal organization to use pokies for money laundering.
It is an effort to respond to an recent inquiry in NSW "Project Islington" , led by the NSW Crime Commission, which revealed that large amounts of illegal money were laundered through pokies in the state in the 2021 financial year.
However, not all politicians have been in favour of the bill, with some expressing doubts about its effectiveness. Transport Minister David Elliott, a former executive for the Queensland Hotels Association, has said that he is "skeptical" about the effectiveness of the bill and is "keen to find where in the world the cashless card has worked."
He also added that he would recuse himself from direct cabinet decisions about gaming reform as his son works for a gambling technology company.
The hotel industry has been largely opposing the introduction of cashless cards, arguing that it would hurt their business. However, supporters of the bill maintain that it is necessary to protect the community from the harmful effects of gambling addiction and illegal activities.
The bill is currently under review and a decision is expected to be made in the coming months.