Gaming Venue Prosecuted for Regulatory Violation

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In a recent case in Australia, the licensee of Vbar, an inner Sydney venue, found themselves in legal trouble for breaching gaming machines regulations. This incident sheds light on the importance of strict adherence to gaming harm minimization measures.

Inspectors from Liquor & Gaming NSW (L&GNSW) discovered an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) placed in an ‘ATM room’ adjoining the gaming area. This discovery prompted a stern warning from the Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade to licensed venues to comply with regulations.

Legal Implications and Enforcement Actions by L&GNSW

The Local Court ordered the licensee to pay a sum of AU$5,500 ($3,701) in prosecutor’s costs, deeming the proximity of the ATM to the gaming machines a clear violation of regulations. The breach was evident from the prominent ‘ATM’ signage on the door, visible from the gaming area.

This prosecution is part of an intensified enforcement effort by L&GNSW, which in 2023 alone resulted in 16 penalty notices and 13 prosecutions for similar ATM location breaches.independent liquor and gaming authority


Regulatory Perspective and Impact of ATM Placement

Jane Lin, the Executive Director of Regulatory Operations at L&GNSW, emphasized that the placement of the ATM contravened the Gaming Machines Regulation 2019. According to Lin, ATMs must be situated separate from gaming rooms to discourage excessive gambling.

Lin highlighted the significance of maintaining distance between ATMs and gaming areas to prevent gamblers from losing track of their spending. Placing ATMs further away from gaming machines encourages players to take breaks, promoting responsible gambling behaviour.

Crackdown on Gambling Advertising

In addition to addressing regulatory violations related to gaming machines, L&GNSW has taken action against gambling advertising infractions. SportChamps, a Sydney-based operator, was fined AU$17,500 for inducing individuals to gamble through  website and Facebook advertisements shown.

This marks the sixth conviction for SportChamps, indicating a pattern of repeated breaches of gambling advertising laws since 2017. L&GNSW’s ongoing crackdown on illegal gambling advertisements includes stringent penalties of up to AU$110,000 for companies. Plus,  AU$11,000 for individuals involved in publishing prohibited gambling ads.