Perrottet: ‘I’ve never felt any pressure from ClubsNSW’

NSW election promises announced

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet denies he was pressured by the powerful gaming industry to dump a senior minister who wanted to address problem gambling by introducing cashless gaming in NSW.

Retiring veteran minister Victor Dominello said he lost his portfolio in a 2021 cabinet reshuffle over his support for cashless gaming, after being targeted by lobby group ClubsNSW.

Mr Perrottet denied stripping him of the gaming ministry to reallocate the portfolio to a National MP after pressure from ClubsNSW.

“Not at all,” he told Sydney radio 2GB on Tuesday.

“I’ve never felt any pressure at all from ClubsNSW.

“My position on cashless gaming could not be clearer.

“Unlike Labor, I have stood up to those vested interests.”

Mr Perrottet said the Coalition’s plan to introduce cashless gaming by the end of 2028 would solve “the scourge of problem gambling”.

Meanwhile, the Premier backed away from his previous call for the NRL to impose a life ban for a teenager who racially abused Souths player Latrell Mitchell.

He initially stuck by his comments that a life ban was appropriate punishment for the 15-year-old boy, to send a message about zero tolerance for racism.

However, when confronted by his regret over his decision to wear a Nazi costume to his 21st birthday party, Mr Perrottet backed down.

“I was probably wrong about that … my comments were probably a bit strong,” he said.

He also defended his election policy to set up an account for every child 10 and younger, with the government tipping in up to $400 a year to accumulate until they are 18, when it can be used for housing or education.

The policy has been criticised for favouring wealthy families who will be able to contribute up to $1000 a year to maximise the nest egg.

“Middle Australia work hard, they pay their taxes and we need to make sure that every single child in NSW has that opportunity, and that’s exactly what this policy does,” Mr Perrottet said.

Meanwhile, influential crossbench MP Alex Greenwich has challenged NSW Labor to also embrace mandatory cashless gaming.

“We have a unique moment in time to progress meaningful gambling reform that also curbs money laundering,” he said.

“I would really want to see the Labor Party show a bit more courage in that regard.”

With less than two weeks to go until polling day, NSW Labor reiterated it does not intend to change its policy, which supports a 12-month trial of the cashless system on 500 machines.

If Labor was to win the election, Mr Greenwich believed he had the political and industry support to pass mandatory cashless gaming legislation without its support.

“I met with ClubsNSW last week and they made it clear to me that they support cashless gambling,” he said.

“They understand this is the direction we’re going … and they want to be part of the discussion to achieve that.”

If Labor forms government after the March 25 vote, Mr Greenwich intends to work with the Liberal-National coalition, the Greens and his close allies, the Animal Justice Party, to pass legislation.

“It’s time for [Labor] to get on board so NSW can not only lead the nation but lead the world when it comes to gaming reform,” he said.


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