Liquor & Gaming NSW has fined Golden Crown Pty Ltd, the corporate licensee of the Leeton Hotel
Australia.- Golden Crown Pty Ltd, the corporate licensee of the Leeton Hotel, Leeton, and its director Trent Middleton have each been fined AU$14,000 following an investigation by the Liquor & Gaming NSW. The regulator found that the Leeton Hotel had operated gaming machines outside authorised hours for at least 40 days in a six-month period.
Anthony Keon, hospitality and racing chief executive, said these were serious breaches of New South Wales gaming laws and that the penalties send a clear message to other venues that operate gaming machines in violation of the law.
He said: “These restrictions are in place to reduce risks of gambling harm by limiting the amount of time patrons can spend playing gaming machines. The Leeton Hotel showed a repeated disregard for the law along with the well-being of its patrons who were placed at greater risk of gambling harm.
“As this penalty shows, venues who fail to abide by gaming machine trading hours can expect to be caught and face the full force of the law.”
The Leeton Hotel operates 14 gaming machines and is authorised to trade until 1am Monday through Saturday and until 10pm on Sundays. However, the Liquor & Gaming NSW detected that between April and October 2021, the hotel’s gaming machines had been operated outside these hours on at least 40 separate dates, mainly in the early hours of Saturday or Sunday mornings and after 10pm on Sunday nights.
According to the regulator, the profit derived from the illegal trading was about AU$9,305. Golden Crown and Middleton pleaded guilty to violating the Gaming Machines Act. Middleton said he donated the profit to charity.
Australia to launch inquiry into online gambling
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has launched an inquiry into online gambling and its impact on people with gambling problems. According to a media release from the Parliament of Australia, the committee is taking written submissions by November 11.
Peta Murphy MP, chair of the committee, said: “the inquiry will be a fresh look at online gambling and whether current laws, regulations, consumer protections and education and support programs are enough to reduce harm to gamblers.
The committee said it will examine how to better target programs to address online problem gambling to reduce the potential exploitation of at-risk people and protect individuals, families and communities. It will also analyse the quality of and access to online gambling education programmes and the appropriateness of gambling regulations in light of emerging technologies, payment options and products.