The government of Tasmania, Australia’s smallest state, is set to introduce a new player card gaming system following an official report into harm minimisation.
Michael Ferguson, Deputy Premier Treasurer of the Tasmanian Liberal Government, made the announcement last week, stating that the territory is ‘leading the nation’ on gambling player protection.
The most notable measure set to be introduced is a player card, containing pre-set default limits which can be lowered by players at any time, or increased within certain parameters.
Designed to enable responsible cashless gaming, the player cards come with default limits of $100 per day, $500 per month and $5,000 per year – the measure was introduced following recommendation by the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission (TLGC) in a report into gambling harm prevention.
“I am pleased to announce the State Government’s response to the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission’s report into harm minimisation technologies for electronic gaming machines in Tasmanian hotels, clubs and casinos could minimise gambling harm,” Ferguson’s statement read.
“We support the Commission’s recommendation to implement a statewide player card gaming system with pre-commitment and cashless gaming.
“The Government also supports the Commission’s view that facial recognition technology is not an effective tool for wider prevention of harm in gaming venues.”
Tasmania has now become the first state to introduce player cards as a harm-minimisation measure, described by Ferguson as the ‘gold standard’ of such policies.
The Deputy Premier asserted that the new feature of the state’s gambling infrastructure will provide those at risk of harm with greater protection whilst having ‘no impact on recreational gamblers’.
Card-based gaming technology will be provided to venues as a fee-based service, with plans to launch the system with pre-commitment by December 2024, to ensure players remain within the limits of what they can afford.
The development comes as a number of Australian states seek to bolster their player protection capabilities, as well as at the federal level.
Just last week, the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs of the national House of Representatives, announced an inquiry into the social impact of gambling, in particular focusing on consumer protection.
The parliamentary probe will examine the effectiveness of existing online problem gambling protections and quality of access to online gambling education programmes.
Meanwhile, the country is also moving ahead with the launch of Betstop, a national gambling self-exclusion scheme, that will become available across all of Australia’s states and territories.