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The NSW Cashless gambling trial suffered a setback recently when its suffered a cyber-attack.  According to the government, Australians have a gambling problem. We spend and lose more money gambling across all formats compared to any other country in the world. Australian’s spend on average USD$1,135 per person each year, and more than half of the money gambled comes from NSW. And within NSW, around 3/4 of that is from gambling machines, or pokies (Poker Machines) as we call it. The NSW government is looking to introduce cashless gambling to address this. This would require people to load a special card up with money at the venue and then insert it into the machines to play. The government is considering introducing limits on how much a person can gamble by capping losses to $1,000 to $1,500 each day, with the cards linking to a particular person and bank account to prevent anonymous betting. They believe that this will result in a 15% to 25% reduction in the amount gambled each year. However, during a recent trial of the system, the digital payment process firm suffered a ransomware attack, resulting in the termination of the trial. The state’s gaming minister said that it would soon announce an oversight panel, which among other focuses, will also be looking into the data security and data privacy of trial participants. Law enforcement is currently investigating the alleged ransomware attack.

This segment was created for the It’s 5:05 podcast