Authorities in Canberra are currently engaged in a debate over cashless gambling at pokie clubs. In 2014, ticket-in ticket-out (TITO) gaming was permitted at venues across the state, but responsible gambling advocates continue to campaign against the move. It was in September 2014 that TITO technology was legalised in the ACT.
Prior to this, it was banned; so, punters would have to feed cash into pokies and receive their winnings from gaming machines as cash. Now, players do not have to cash out their winnings; they can simply take a ticket from one machine to another. Responsible gambling advocates are worried that this distances players from cash when gambling, so they do not actually see the money that they are losing.
As such, players can easily lose sight of their spending, chasing losses more easily and putting themselves at greater risk of developing dangerous gambling habits. Another concern is that TITO technology prevents intervention from staff members. Usually, a player would visit a cashier to cash out their winnings, but the ticket systems prevents them from having to do so.
As such, staff members at the club are less likely to notice when a player may be at risk. Greens Minister Shane Rattenbury says: "Industry advice to licensed venues suggests that TITO technology decreases the number of hand pays, resulting in longer periods of gaming machine operation and a reduction in face-to-face interaction by easing the transition from one gaming machine to another."
Greg Jones, Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, defends the decision to allow TITO gambling. He argues that ticket gambling systems help venues to keep up with modern society. All types of industries around the world is going cashless, and TITO gaming offers punters convenience by keeping in line with modern technology. It also reduces security needs as the ticket systems means that less money in kept on site.