Independent candidate for the NSW Upper House, Lyle Shelton, has backed Premier Dominic Perrottet’s push for a cashless gaming card and spending limits to reduce poker machine harm.

With fellow Liberals wavering and the Nationals opposed, Mr Shelton said he would use his vote in the Parliament to support reform.

“A cashless gaming card to tackle criminal money laundering and reduce losses to vulnerable people is a no-brainer.

“Sadly, a re-elected Coalition government would be divided on the issue, making the principled stance of independents in the Upper House crucial.

“Such is the power of big gambling that Labor is non-committal and the Coalition is weak.”

Mr Shelton, a long-time supporter of poker machine reform, agreed with the Alliance for Gambling Reform’s push for a maximum of $1 bets.

“In NSW, $18.5 million is lost every day of the year through pub and club pokies causing untold social and economic harm.

“We all love our pubs and clubs but a business model that profits from the pain of vulnerable people and facilitates money laundering must be changed.”

Mr Shelton said he would support an industry adjustment package to wean pubs and clubs off poker machine revenue.

He said the loss of government tax revenue would be more than made up by the reduction in social harm to families. Mr Shelton is the National Director of Family First but is heading an independent group ticket for the NSW Upper House because NSW electoral law required a 16-month lead-time for registering the recently re-birthed party.

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