By Aimee Chanthadavong, Club Management
Tabcorp has been forced to make most of its electronic betting terminals (EBTs) in Victoria cashless, after the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) uncovered multiple incidents where a minor was using them to gamble.
The VGCCC issued a statewide direction that from the end of the month, Tabcorp’s betting terminals cannot accept cash bets unless they are within five metres and are in the line of sight of the counter. This is expected to affect 70 per cent of Tabcorp’s 1800 EBTs across Victoria.
The VGCCC launched initial investigations after it received a complaint from the public that a 16-year-old was using the terminals to gamble. As a result, Tabcorp, along with nine venues, have been charged for offences related to allowing a minor within a gaming machine area, allowing a minor to gamble, and failing to reasonably supervise Electronic Betting Terminals between September 2022 and October 2023. Tabcorp alone has been charged with 72 offences. If found guilty, Tabcorp could face a maximum fine of $969,236.
“It is inexcusable to accept a bet from a minor and tougher actions are required to protect the community, especially children, from gambling harm,” VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt said in a statement.
“Venue staff are the first line of defence in protecting minors from gambling. We have taken decisive measures where they have failed to take their responsibilities seriously”.
To use the gaming machines going forward, patrons will have to go to the counter to obtain a voucher where their IDs will be checked if a person appears to be under 25.
“These stronger identity checks not only represent an additional barrier to allowing children to gamble, but will also help to prevent money laundering,” Kimmitt said.
Additionally, Tabcorp has been ordered to roll-out an independent mystery shopper to ensure venues are appropriately checking identification.
According to the VGCCC, failure to comply will result in additional penalties for the venues that have already been charged, including having all EBTs to be switched to voucher mode for six months, and Tabcorp terminating agreements with the venues.