Table of Contents
In New Zealand to tackle the problem of gambling, the Department of Internal Affairs NZ is constantly making new ways and means to control the pokies menace. According to news reports, the pokie industry fears that if the government pushes ahead with plans to make gaming machines cashless, then it would spell the end of pub-based pokies, and would take with it the $900m a year they generate in community grants. But gambling’s top regulator has a vision of biometric passports, intelligent poker machines that can tell when someone is gambling dangerously and an industry catching up with a society that will use the technology for Cash-free pokies.
Casinos in New Zealand might experience some impacts from cash-free pokies. On the one hand, cash-free pokies draw a broad demographic due to their appealing demographic and fantastic graphics, which offer a user-friendly experience to all New Zealand punters.
However, it may also have a negative impact on New Zealand casinos by reducing revenue from physical casinos. Cash-free pokies have the potential to reduce income for casinos that are slow to adopt new technology. For those who are less conscious of technological advancements than their rivals, it can be challenging to accept them.
The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) wants an “open and frank conversation” on whether cashless pokies are feasible, and believes that the move could save money, increase grants, reduce safety risks for pub staff and even help thwart problem gambling.
The idea of Cash-free pokies
The pokie industry is cautious, fearing the idea would kill off pub machines and force operators online in an unfair fight with big-money offshore gaming sites. According to DIA director of gambling Chris Thornborough, they are trying not to do the usual government thing and come in with a particular solution, then consult on it.
Cash-free systems, where punters swap cash for a swipe card at venues, have been trialled and discarded in the past. But SkyCity casinos operate a similar model, using barcoded tickets instead of cash, called Tito (ticket-in, ticket-out).
Though Thornborough warned he doesn’t want the “cheapest and easiest” solution if it doesn’t deliver clear benefits around problem gambling, health and safety, and security while keeping the risk of money-laundering low and reducing running costs. While he says he’s not prejudged against any particular system, that laundry list has operators fearing the DIA will want an expensive, sophisticated solution.
Pokie operators say any outcome requiring punters to have a biometric passport (to prove their identity before play), and special bank accounts (so money bounces around online only) will deter casual players – and cut turnover.
According to Bruce Robertson, the chair of the industry body GMANZ, they are happy to explore practical and reasonable options – but they have concerns that if what they are seeing is what it looks like, it could have a significant impact on their fundraising ability… the signals, if they turn out to be correct, would actually decimate the industry and community fundraising and have a devastating effect on venues, which are a social hub.”
The Charity Stuff
Pokie operators must, by law, return 40% of machine profits to charity – and know that their best public relations tactic is to flag any possible reduction in that figure.
Mike Knell, chief executive of one of the biggest trusts, New Zealand Community Trust, which returned about $44.5m in grants last year, said replacing the existing fleet of pokies could cost up to $250m. Knell said nowhere else in the world ran an entirely cashless system. He is worried about the costs of development, potential IT hiccups, and the risk of gamblers disliking it. Also, Mike Knell fears it could cost $250m to replace machines.
Threat to the Pokie business
According to Lawyer Jarrod True; who represents many pokie trusts; such plans were a “threat to the existence” of the pokie business, predicting a 50% cut in takings. True said the industry was already under siege from offshore websites. And the costs of being cashless; combined with a drop in revenue would “all but eliminate community grants”.
Thornborough also denied fears that the DIA had a “hidden agenda” to get rid of pokies from pubs and push all such gambling online, if, as signalled, DIA minister Tracey Martin relaxes online gambling laws. The pokie trusts fear they would be unable to compete in the online world.
Thornborough is “really interested” in technology allowing what’s called mandatory pre-commitments. Here punters have to set themselves a limit before playing. Machines cannot recognize an individual gambler’s style of play. It cannot trigger a warning if they start chasing their losses aggressively.
The Problem Gambling Foundation has long wanted mandatory pre-commitments but was cautious. It was not the studies of Tito systems that showed play went faster as breaks in play. And it help halt problem punters and reduced the need for staff to walk gaming floors and spot issues. Finally, let’s wait for the results as discussions are going on at various levels. To find a conclusion for the scope of cash-free pokies in New Zealand. (with inputs from Stuff NZ news source)
Dependency On Technology
The idea of cash-free pokies can lead to a huge dependency on technology which can lead to frustrate players who are interested in playing online pokies. On one hand, cash-free pokies enable users to have more efficient and streamlined gameplay by using various digital devices.
On the other hand, it can affect negatively all the New Zealand casinos. It will make players as well as casino owners rely heavily on technology which will create a sense of dependency among users which is not at all have a great impact on the gaming experience. The glitches and malfunctions in the technology could disturb and disrupt the gameplay.
It will also restrict the users who are not tech-savvy and are less aware of all the technological advancements. If the players are unable to access various digital devices which are present in cash-free pokies then how are they going to enjoy the gameplay?
This is why casinos in New Zealand are not in favour of cash-free pokies that will affect gameplay as well as user interaction in land-based casinos.
Positive Impacts Of Cash-Free Pokies
Apart from all these negativities, cash-free pokies have the ability to turn the lives of players in an exciting way by sharing eye-catching and user-friendly graphics with all Kiwi punters. It can offer a range of benefits to all the punters who chose to play exciting free pokies games.
There is a growing interest in the use of digital currencies and payment methods in New Zealand and all this has become popular with the advancement in technology hence it has become an exciting effect for pokies.
It aligns with the trends of digitalization and hence must be adopted by multiple casino operators in New Zealand to excite users and keep them up-to-date will all the market trends and policies. It will make Kiwis deal with cryptocurrencies and mobile or digital payment methods which will make them walk with the technology.
For players, interested in making money with pokies machines, it can become a great and easy opportunity which offers multiple benefits including Welcome Bonuses, Loyalty programs, No deposit bonuses and much more which are not available in traditional casinos.
In this way, New Zealand Punters can enjoy multiple benefits with this technology and stay away from cash theft.
Why Cash-Free Pokies?
In conclusion, Cash free pokies are introduced to New Zealand punters for a variety of reasons. The key reason behind the introduction is to keep the punters up-to-date with the technology and keep them away from lagging behind in terms of trends.
It will eliminate the use and need for physical cash and reduces the risk of theft while providing safe and secure casino gameplay. There is a wide availability of interesting online live casino games which adds fun to the gameplay. It will digitalize the payment method and will help punters to manage their budget while investing in any live table casino game.
However, apart from all these benefits, there are multiple challenges and drawbacks as well which need to be addressed before implementing the use of cash-free pokies in all land-based casinos.
Kiwi punters who are not tech-savvy will try to restrict the implementation of this type of live casino as it can disturb their game and will make them lag behind in this exciting game. It may have a negative impact on traditional pokie venues as well as their revenue with offline or less technological pokies.
Overall, even though the transition to cash-free pokies may present some difficulties, such as technological dependency issues and potential negative effects on conventional pokie venues, the advantages of increased safety, convenience, and digital transformation make it an appealing option for the industry’s future in New Zealand.