Australian Leisure and Hospitality (ALH) has been hit with 62 charges for allegedly operating gaming machines without mandatory pre-commitment technology installed.
In Victoria, all electronic gaming machines must have an interactive YourPlay display which allows players to monitor their expenditure and ALH is alleged to have operated 220 machines for up to five weeks without that functionality.
The charges could attract maximum fines totalling $1.35 million.
While using YourPlay is optional for players, it is mandatory for venues to have it installed. After an anonymous tip in December 2021, Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) commenced an investigation into ALH.
VGCCC CEO, Annette Kimmitt AM, said anyone who holds a gambling licence in Victoria is on notice and must comply with their legal obligations.
“We have decided to prosecute ALH as the alleged breaches constituted serious and significant non-compliance across 80 per cent of all ALH’s Victorian venues,” Ms Kimmitt said.
“Having YourPlay installed and available on electronic gaming machines is a mandatory requirement to support safer gambling.”
ALH is wholly owned by Endeavour Group and CEO, Steve Donohue, said an investigation found this was an isolated and regrettable case of process and communication failure.
“We are acutely aware of the seriousness of this matter and we are committed to doing all we can to ensure it does not happen again,” he said.
“As soon as the matter was raised we deactivated the machines and proceeded to address the concerns before retesting the functionality.
“We can confirm YourPlay is active on all Victorian machines that we operate, with ALH also offering voluntary pre-commitment at all venues on the mainland, as part of our national standard.”
ALH and an ALH executive officer of the company will face charges for failing to ensure mandatory player equipment was installed under the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.