The Preston Hotel has been fined $15,000.
Australia.- The Preston Hotel in Melbourne has been fined $15,000 for allowing a teen to gamble $2,500 on half a dozen occasions in May and September 2022.
The Guardian reported that Magistrate Carolyn Howe noted the mother’s efforts to seek help: “It must have been the most frustrating day in her life – the amount of people she contacted and reached out to for help and got nowhere – absolutely nowhere,” she said.
A lawyer representing the Preston Hotel and its operator, Ben Niall, said the boy had spent less than five minutes at a time placing bets ranging between $100 and $760 at the hotel.
According to the publication, the teenager had been struggling with gambling addiction and had raked up to $95,000 in gambling debt. The boy is said to have gambled at least $100,000 at various venues across Australia.
The boy’s mother discovered her son’s addiction in April 2022 and had sought help, but most organisations were not able to intervene and advised the mother to not allow her son access to money.
The mother had re-mortgaged her home and taken on extra work to cover the gambling debts.