The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has fined Tabcorp $1 million due to failure to provide information about a major system outage in the 2020 Spring Racing Carnival.

On Saturday 7 November, Tabcorp’s Wagering and Betting System (WBS) suffered a major outage and was unavailable for approximately 36 hours. Under the Wagering and Betting Licence and Agreement, WBS is required to be continuously available. Subsequently, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, the VGCCC’s predecessor, launched an investigation into the outage.

This is the largest fine that VGCCC has imposed on Tabcorp, with the Commission stating that the size of the fine reflects Tabcorp’s repeated failure to comply with Commission directions. The maximum penalty for contravening Commission directions is $9,087,000.

Commission Chair Fran Thorn said Tabcorp’s conduct was unacceptable.

“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,” said Thorn.

Tabcorp failed to voluntarily provide adequate information about the outage to the regulator, after which point the directions were issued. The Commission first found that Tabcorp failed to produce a response that confirmed the WBS business continuity and disaster recovery arrangements established after the outage were able to ensure continuous function as is required by the Wagering and Betting License and Agreement. The second failure to comply was due to Tabcorp submitting a compliant report four months after the deadline.

A spokesperson for Tabcorp responded to the VGCCC’s fine.

“Tabcorp accepts the fine imposed by the VGCCC this morning. The fine is in relation to an investigation following the 2020 systems outage, which was caused by a fire in a third-party supplier. Tabcorp accepts that it did not meet the expectations of the regulator following the outage,” the spokesperson said.

There have been significant changes to the Tabcorp structure since the 2020 outage, with the company completing a demerger of Lotteries and Keno in 2022. This demerger marked the beginning of a new era for Tabcorp, with shifts in focus, platforms, and approaches to legislature.

“Since its demerger, the company has been working to improve the way it engages with regulators. Tabcorp strongly supports the work of the Victorian regulator and commits to working constructively and transparently with the VGCCC to ensure a safe wagering ecosystem for all Victorians,” the spokesperson concluded.

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