NSW Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro is at odds with his liberal colleagues over the possible introduction of cashless playing cards brewed as stoush in the NSW cabinet.
- The cashless playing cards could reduce money laundering, according to the Bergin report
- Mr. Dominello has long believed that registering for the cards could help problematic players
- But Mr Barilaro said he would not support the cards and call them “bureaucracy”.
A report commissioned this week by NSW’s Independent Gaming and Liquor Authority (ILGA) recommended introducing the cards, which could help fight gambling problems and money laundering.
The report was the result of an 18-month investigation into gambling giant Crown Resorts, which was hoping to open its new Sydney casino, which was already under construction in Barangaroo.
However, those plans are on hold after Commissioner Patricia Bergin found the company in its current form is not eligible to own the license.
NSW Customer Service Secretary Victor Dominello said the state government will consider the report’s recommendations.
But Mr Barilaro said he did not support the cards and that it was “not the time to strangle pubs and clubs with bureaucracy”.
The last time Mr Barilaro publicly clashed with his Liberal counterparts was the koala protection policy, which the New South Wales government briefly marginalized last year.
In September, he threatened to blow up the coalition and bank nationals in the event of disagreements over politics.
Now a new spit threatens.
“How does that work – I respect the cabinet process, we have to take into account Commissioner Bergin’s results,” said Dominello.
“That goes back to the cabinet, no doubt back to the party room.
“We are doing our best to help pubs and clubs because they are doing a great job in the community, but there is this shabby underbelly of cash, poker machines and games, as Commissioner Bergin pointed out, that needs to be addressed because we don’t can go blind. ” Eye for organized crime. “
Commissioner Bergin noted that the cashless playing card could prove useful in the fight against money laundering. (Supplied: Paddy Bergin SC)
Mr Dominello proposed reforms last year that would require punters to register for cashless playing cards in order to use pokies.
The blueprint is intended to help address gambling issues in NSW.
Mr Dominello said the state government would examine the report’s recommendations in detail, including one of its own proposals made last year for a government-issued gambling card for all poker machines.
In her report, Ms Bergin said that Mr Dominello’s proposal would also help address another problem – money laundering by organized criminals.
“The proposal has been the subject of public debate and is not free from controversy,” she wrote.
“However, it appears that the very significant utility of the card in assisting the problematic player could not be questioned. It is also evident that this would be a powerful mechanism to aid in the fight against money laundering.”
Mr Dominello said money laundering is the blood of organized crime and cash is the common denominator.
Gladys Berejiklian said she was confident the state could both help problematic players and support businesses. (AAP: Joel Carrett)
“If you have an industry-based, industry-owned, industry-issued playing card with proper supervision, Commissioner Bergin said it will have a significant impact on the fight against money laundering. You can’t get any stronger,” Dominello said.
Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian told Channel Nine there was room for a tough line on money laundering and support for pubs and clubs.
“The report highlighted that unfortunately there could be money laundering problems in the broader community and we have to address them and of course we have to support all companies in this process – I think you can do both.”