NSW fines Sydney casino for safety breach

Authorities found gaming machines were placed too close to each other.
Authorities found gaming machines were placed too close to each other.

Watsons Bay Hotel is the fifteenth venue in New South Wales to be fined for violating its own Covid-19 safety plan after undercover inspections.

Australia.- New South Wales Liquor & Gaming has hit Watsons Bay Hotel in Sydney with a AU$5,000 (US$3,582) fine for breaching established Covid-19 safety measures.

In an undercover operation on Friday authorities found patrons drinking alcohol while standing, as well as no spacing between gaming machines.

About 240 inspectors from the NSW Department of Customer Service along with 15,000 police officers are carrying out inspections.

Liquor & Gaming NSW said in a statement that they found the vast majority of venues in East Sydney are complying with the conditions and providing a safe environment for patrons.

But at Watsons Bay Hotel inspectors found several instances of patrons drinking alcohol while standing, as well as separate groups of patrons seated at tables within 1.5 metres of each other.

The authorities said: “All gaming machines were operational and there was not 1.5 metres between each machine. This was contrary to the hotel’s Covid-19 safety plan which requires every second machine to be switched off.”

In the same undercover operation, they confirmed that Golden Sheaf Hotel in Double Bay was complying with regulations. It was one of the first venues to be fined for violation of Covid-19 safety precautions last month.

Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance, Dimitri Argeres, said Watsons Bay Hotel is the fifteenth NSW venue to be fined for Covid-19 safety breaches in the past three weeks. It has also dealt record fines to pokies operators for different motives.

He said: “While most venues are making serious efforts to comply with all the conditions, it’s disappointing that some are simply not getting the message.

“This latest penalty serves as a reminder to all hospitality businesses that the chances of being caught for non-compliance are high”.

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australia Covid-19 New South Wales Liquor & Gaming