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Newcastle hotel out of pocket $7,540 for gaming machine offences

A Newcastle hotel has been fined $7,540 after being convicted of operating gaming machines outside authorised hours.

The licensee of the Royal Inn Hotel at Waratah pleaded guilty to 13 offences under the Gaming Machines Act 2001 in Downing Centre Local Court on March 11 following an investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW.

Executive Director of Regulatory Operations, Jane Lin, said these were serious breaches of the state’s gaming laws.

“These restrictions are in place to reduce the risks of gambling harm by limiting the time patrons can spend playing gaming machines,” Lin said. “Apart from breaking the law, the Royal Inn Hotel placed its patrons at greater risk of gambling harm. As this case shows, venues that fail to abide by gaming machine trading hours can expect to be caught and face significant penalties.”

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Liquor & Gaming NSW reviewed the hotel’s gaming activity and found that on Saturday, April 15, 22 and 29, 2023, gaming machines were operated during the shutdown period from 1am to 7am. The hotel submitted to the court that the breaches were a genuine misunderstanding of the licence conditions by the approved manager.

In sentencing, the magistrate noted the onus was on the licensee to ensure staff were appropriately trained and that a message had to be sent to those venues, which had the highly profitable right of operating gaming machines in New South Wales.

For free, confidential advice and support, call GambleAware on 1800 858 858 24/7 or visit www. GambleAware.nsw. gov. au.

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