Ms Bergin’s report, released Tuesday, said a government proposed gambling card would track cash through a casino and would be a “powerful mechanism” to fight money laundering.

As part of the most significant gambling reform in the state’s history, NSW would switch to fully cashless poker machines and players would have to register for a playing card.

The changes would force players to register and pre-load money onto the card, which would work similarly to the state’s cashless Opal cards for the public transportation network.

Senior Cabinet Minister Victor Dominello, in charge of gambling, is leading the reform but has to convince his colleagues, some of whom fear a backlash from pubs and clubs.

The investigation’s report says that a gambling card would be a “government matter” but casinos are “free to implement their own mechanisms of a similar nature for their own customers.”

“In this regard, there is a recent development in NSW with a proposal to introduce a ‘gambling card’ that would allow cash tracking through a casino,” the report said.

The proposal was “the subject of public debate and not free from controversy”.

“However, it appears that the very important use of the card in assisting the problematic player is not a problem. It is also evident that this would be an effective anti-money laundering mechanism. “

In his response to the Bergin report, Mr Dominello said: “The report raises, among other things, serious problems related to organized crime and money laundering in our community.”

Alexandra Smith is the state political editor for the Sydney Morning Herald.

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