The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) issued a fine to the Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH) because of a violation of the rules prescribed to control operating electronic gaming machines (EGMs).
Fines for eight venues:
ALH didn’t comply with the shutdown periods the VGCCC set up and kept the EGMs open in eight venues longer than they were supposed to in order to comply with the nominated trading hours.
The fine that the company will have to pay is $480.000.
The regulatory body conducted thorough research and they realized that the company kept the machines operating in seven venues: First and Last Hotel, Croxton Park Hotel, Albion Charles Hotel, Berwick Inn Taverner, The Millers Inn Hotel, Village Green Hotel, and Elsternwick Hotel. These properties are the reason for issuing a fine of $420.000. The violation happened between February 15, 2023, and April 21, 2023.
On top of that, the VGCCC issued a fine of $60.000 to the Boundary Taverner because the venue didn’t comply with the mandatory shutdown periods and operated outside of the hours intended for that.
These eight properties are among 76 venues that AHL operates in the province, and it’s the largest operator in Victoria. In total, these venues feature 4690 machines.
According to Australian law, the gaming venues have to be closed at least four hours after 20 hours of operating, and the VGCCC found out that 15 EGMs were active during those hours between February 15 and May 25.
Also, the law requires the venues to comply with the hours they wanted to operate when they were nominating the machines.
More violations and measures to prevent them:
The VGCCC hopes that issuing these fines will discourage other venues from violating the law in a similar way.
Annette Kimmitt, the CEO of VGCCC, said in a press release: “We expect all venue operators to provide gambling services responsibly and to observe the trading hours for their electronic gaming machines. Ensuring patrons take breaks and are not exposed to extended, continuous periods of play is critical to the responsible service of gambling. The VGCCC will continue to monitor gaming machine operations to ensure our expectations are being met.”
This isn’t the first time AHL got fined because of a similar issue. In August, the authorities realized that the company operated 220 EGMs without installing the pre-commitment technology YourPlay that is required in Victoria.
YourPlay is one of the strongest tools in the fight against problem gambling since it allows the players to set limits for time spent in gaming and the losses they make. All gaming machines in the province are obligated to have it installed.