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Clubs and pubs ‘camouflage of care for customers’ used to introduce surveillance technology

Wesley Mission is opposed to the use of Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) by gambling venues as the little evidence available shows it is an ineffective measure to reduce gambling harm compared to a universal cashless gambling card with harm prevention measures. 

Wesley Mission CEO and gambling reform advocate Rev Stu Cameron questions why Clubs NSW and the AHA are talking about FRT surveillance when there is a much better solution on the table. 

“Two years ago, they were claiming that FRT would send pubs and clubs broke. We suspect this is a diversionary tactic to shift the focus from a mandatory, universal cashless gambling card that would really prevent harm to individuals and the community.

“If ClubsNSW and the AHA NSW were genuine in the motivation to reduce harm, they would have included privacy measures in their announcements.”

“Venues appalling track record of not upholding people’s wishes to self-exclude suggests that they are more interested in using surveillance technology for other purposes such as marketing and incentivising people to spend more time or money gambling than they otherwise would have planned,” Cameron said.

Monday 17 – Sunday 23 October 2022 is Gambling Harm Awareness Week, (also known as GambleAware Week) an annual initiative to increase awareness of gambling harm in the NSW community.

587,000 individuals in NSW are estimated to be experiencing harm directly from gambling and an additional 1.2 million are estimated to experience gambling harm through someone close to them.

Media enquiries

Anne Holt: 0418 628 342

For media reporting on gambling harm, please strongly consider including help-seeking information:

  • You can find support information on the GambleAware website:
  • Speak to a counsellor 24 hours a day via the GambleAware Helpline on 1800 858 858
  • Counselling is confidential and free of charge and is available to both individuals and family members experiencing gambling harm.

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