The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has issued show cause notices to two gaming venue operators for repeatedly operating EGMs outside permitted hours of operation.
The venue operators have been alleged to fail to comply with requirements to only open their gaming room within the hours outlined in their liquor licences and ensure there is at least one continuous 4-hour break from gaming every 24 hours. The breaches are spread across eight venues.
The show cause notices require the operators to respond to detailed allegations and gives them 28 days to explain why the Commission should not take disciplinary action. Penalties may include the cancellation or suspension of the operator’s licence, a change in their licence conditions, a letter of censure or fines.
The VGCCC discovered the breaches through ongoing monitoring of EGM data, which tracks a number of compliance indicators, including:
- play occurring on EGMs outside the permitted hours of operation
- EGMs not connected to the pre-commitment system, YourPlay
- irregular EGM activity that is suggestive of money laundering.
“Venue operators should know by now that we will not tolerate failure to provide gambling services responsibly. Venue operators are on notice to ensure they observe the trading hours for their electronic gaming machines as noted on their licences,” commented VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt.
“These notices are a warning to venue operators all over Victoria that we are monitoring data from their electronic gaming machines and will uncover breaches.”
VGCCC monitoring has also identified seven metropolitan LGAs – Brimbank, Frankston, Hume, Knox, Maribrynong, Melbourne and Monash – where 24-hour gambling within a local vicinity is possible due to the staggered closing times adopted by venues.
The use of staggered closing times has resulted in a third of all LGAs in Victoria providing access to gambling for more than 22 hours a day. As such, the VGCCC has welcomed the recent gaming reforms announcement by the Andrews Government, which includes a standard closure period between 4-10am. The Victorian Government has announced a variety of significant changes within its gaming reform plans, included mandatory carded play, as well as reducing load limits from $1000 to $100.