The licensee of South Sydney pub, Mortdale Hotel, has been prosecuted, convicted and fined in the span of a week, after requiring patrons to exit the pub via the gaming room.

Mortdale Hotel licensee Paul Whitehead pleaded guilty to breaching the Gaming Machines Act 2001 in Downing Centre Local Court on 18 June, following an investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW.

Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors conducting compliance checks at the hotel on 18 August 2023 found the main bar’s exit door was locked and the only way to leave the hotel was through the gaming room.

Gaming legislation requires that patrons must not be compelled to pass through a gaming room in order to enter or leave a venue, or to gain access to another area.

Liquor & Gaming NSW executive director – regulatory operations Jane Lin said it was a serious breach of the state’s gaming laws.

“These restrictions are in place to reduce the risks of gambling harm,” stated Lin.

“Apart from breaking the law, the licensee put patrons at potential risk of harm by compelling them to walk through the gaming room to leave the venue.

“As this case shows, licensees who fail to abide by gaming machine regulations can expect to be caught and prosecuted.”

Whitehead was required to pay a total of $2,250 for the offence.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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