Tabcorp, a flagship Australian gambling company/provider of betting and gaming products and services based in Melbourne, must pay a $1 million fine to the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) for failing to comply with “two Commission directions issued during its investigation of Tabcorp’s major system outage in the 2020 Spring Racing Carnival,” according to the official press release of the aforementioned regulator.
Biggest fine ever:
This fine is the biggest the firm has ever had to pay to the VGCCC. This was due to Tabcorp’s continued disregard for the the regulator’s directions to offer information about the outage that left Tabcorp’s Wagering and Betting System (WBS) inaccessible for nearly 36 hours.
In this regard, commenting on the fine, Fran Thorn, Chairman of the Commission, commented: “Tabcorp’s conduct was unacceptable. We will not tolerate licensees that are not forthcoming and cooperative when the Commission investigates. The Commission had to use its compulsory powers and issue directions because Tabcorp did not provide the information we required about the business continuity and disaster recovery capability of its systems. It is Tabcorp’s failure to comply with these directions that has led to the fine announced today. All entities we regulate — no matter how big or small — have an obligation to be open and honest with the Commission and responsive to its lawfully issued directions. We will not tolerate attempts to frustrate our investigations.”
Big outage of Tabcorp’s WBS:
The aforementioned outage of Tabcorp’s WBS occurred on Saturday, November 7, 2020. That was a huge problem, as according to the Wagering and Betting Licence and Agreement, the WBS is required to be “continuously available.” As soon as this happened, the forerunner of VGCCC launched an investigation into the disruption.
Additionally, the aforementioned two directions were sent following the Tabcorp’s failure to “voluntarily provide adequate information about the outage to the regulator.” The firm’s behavior throughout its discussions with the VGCCC during the said investigation and in response to the directions affected the regulator’s capacity to clearly understand what caused the big outage and be sure it won’t happen again.
Furthermore, the regulator discovered that the company had failed to follow the first direction as it “failed to produce a response that — in either form or substance — confirmed the WBS business continuity and disaster recovery arrangements established after the outage were fit for purpose to deliver the continuously available performance requirement.” However, Tabcorp also failed to follow the second direction as it filed a compliant report four months after the time limit. Failure to comply with the above directions resulted in it having to pay a fine of $9.087.000.