By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier

Two men from New South Wales’ Hunter region have been convicted and sentenced for the illegal possession and resale of gaming machines.

Business owner James Tupou and gaming machine technician Graeme Nowicz were found guilty of offences under the Gaming Machines Act and sentenced at Mount Druitt Local Court on 6 July.

The case was brought forth after an investigation from Liquor & Gaming NSW into a scheme to illegally sell EGMs damaged in a fire at Maitland Park Bowling and Sporting Complex in December 2014, and written off for insurance purposes.

Chad McLetchie, a former secretary of the club, sold eight of the machines to Nowicz for $10,000. Several of the machines were then refurbished and sold by Tupou to venues in the Hunter region and on the Central Coast.

McLetchie had been convicted and fined $5,500 and placed on a two-year good behaviour bond for his role in the scheme in late 2016.

Nowicz was fined $17,000, placed on a good behaviour bond and ordered to pay $19,400 in legal costs, while Tupou was fined $11,000 and ordered to pay legal costs of $20,800.

“Strict requirements are in place to tightly control the custody and movement of gaming machines. The Gaming Machines Act imposes serious penalties, including fines and imprisonment, for illegal trading and transfer of gaming machines,” stated Sean Goodchild, director of compliance operations for Liquor & Gaming NSW.

“Such offences can threaten the integrity of the gaming industry and lead to a lack of public confidence in regulatory controls. It is against the law to be in possession of a gaming machine in NSW unless properly authorised, with maximum potential penalties of up to $11,000 and or 12 months imprisonment. Suspect gaming machine sales can be reported for investigation on 02 9995 0837 or

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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