An alternative lobbying letter to the Clubs NSW proposal

January 14, 2023

This website put up by Clubs NSW is proposing ridiculously misleading emails be sent to NSW politicians which read as follows. Below is the alternative wording that Stephen Mayne emailed through to Gambling Minister Kevin Anderson on January 14. Why not join in and do the same.

Email wording proposed by Clubs NSW

Dear Kevin,

I am concerned about the proposal to ban punters from using cash and force them to use a Government gambling card.

I should not be forced to sign up for a Government card just to enjoy the occasional punt. If I choose to put some cash through a gaming machine when visiting a club or pub, that is my right – it is my money!

A mandatory card will empower Government bureaucrats to monitor and track my spending. I am concerned about who will have access to my personal data and how secure it will be. I do not trust a Government agency to keep my data safe from hackers and I am worried my information will be misused.

Clubs employ 54,000 people and contribute over $100 million to the community every year by sponsoring sporting teams and donating to charities. Introducing a gambling card will force local clubs to spend up to hundreds of thousands of dollars to install unproven technology, which some clubs simply cannot afford.

Imposing this cost will cause job losses and reduce club support to sporting teams and community groups.

A mandatory gambling card is a heavy-handed and unproven way to tackle concerns about criminals using gaming machines. International examples show that mandatory cards are ineffective and worsen problem gambling.

I strongly urge you to reject any mandatory proposal which infringes my rights to have a punt and risks the viability of my local club.

I look forward to hearing your position on this issue and will consider it when I vote at the NSW election.

Yours sincerely
Concerned Voter

Some alternative wording in support of the card

Dear Kevin

I am supportive of the proposal to ban criminal gangs from using cash to launder their ill gotten gains through the 2600 NSW pokies clubs and pubs. Please hurry up and introduce a mandatory anti-money laundering card, as recommended by the NSW Crime Commission.

Criminals should be forced to sign up for the anti money laundering card. If I choose to contribute to the world record $7 billion a year lost on NSW pokies, then at least help me keep track of those losses by providing a card. A mandatory card, just like the Opal card on NSW public transport, will discourage criminals and inform support workers when an addicted gambler is inflicting serious self-harm through rapid fire spending over long periods of time at the deliberately addictive machines. I want to track my personal gambling spend and have no problems with a trusted institution like the NSW gambling regulator also having access to this data. It's no different to any bank or credit card company knowing the spending patterns of their customers.

NSW Pokies Clubs are like casinos and have net assets worth more than $10 billion courtesy of gamblers losing almost $4 billion a year at their venues and clubs paying the lowest pokies taxes in the country. They are also outrageously allowed to have an unlimited number of machines, even as many as 800 in some instances, compared with NSW pubs which are limited to 30 pokies each and pay much higher rates of tax.

These reckless clubs have proven they are unfit to operate responsibly. The Government should legislate to force them to hand their assets over to their local councils, which do truly care about community well-being as opposed to Casino Clubs which seek cover for their predatory behaviour with token sponsorship of sporting clubs and charities. Introducing an anti-money laundering card will also help stop vulnerable citizens, such as RSL member suffering trauma from their service experience, from inflicting further harm on themselves through un-controlled gambling spending.

Most of the biggest 20 clubs have CEOs who are paid more than the Premier and Prime Minister. These fat cats often don't properly disclose their salaries in the annual report and if belts have to be tightened because NSW no longer has the world's highest per capita gambling spend, then let's start with a hit on their excessive pay arrangements.

I strongly urge you to get on with introducing the card and ignore the thugs at Clubs NSW with their disgraceful demands to retain cash money laundering on the basis of their profits from criminal gangs and this idea that citizens have a right to use cash. They don't on public transport and nor should they in gambling environments that the NSW Crime Commission has shown are rife with criminal money laundering.

I look forward to hearing your position on this issue and will consider it when I vote at the NSW election.

Yours sincerely
Stephen Mayne