Record fine for underage gambling at Sydney casino

The casino operator self-reported the three incidents to authorities.
The casino operator self-reported the three incidents to authorities.

Two teenagers and a 12 -year-old girl were found placing bets and being served alcohol at The Star casino.

Australia.-  Liquor & Gaming NSW has fined The Star casino in Sydney AU$90,000 (US$64,892) for serving minors.

The regulator issued two AU$15,000 (US$10,815) fines for incidents involving two teenagers and a AU$60,000 (US$43,261) fine for a case involving a 12-year-old gambling at the casino.

Previously, the largest fine the regulator has issued for minors being found on premises was AU$7,000 (US$5,047).

It says the latest incident involved a 12-year-old Chinese tourist who was snuck into the casino by her mother to play pokies on the main floor. Authorities say that within 17 minutes the child placed 21 bets at several machines. The family was intercepted only as they were leaving the casino.

NSW Independent Liquor & Authority Chair Philip Crawford said the case was treated with particular gravity owing to the girl’s age, the manner of entry and length of time before she was detected.

He said: “It’s quite staggering that the young girl’s parents facilitated her entry in such a deceptive manner, let alone allowed their daughter to gamble.”

Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Investigations and Intervention, David Byrne, said: “Not only did The Star fail to manage the risk, once the child was on the gaming floor, there were a number of opportunities where staff should have noticed a very young person playing the poker machines – well before they actually did which was when the family was leaving.”

Another incident involved a 16-year-old girl who entered the casino through the VIP checkpoint with a middle-aged male “platinum” member without being asked for ID. She then used a fake driver’s licence to order a vodka Redbull at the bar, and was only discovered when trying to enter the nightclub.

The third incident involved a 17-year-old male who entered with his own provisional driver’s licence, drank a vodka Redbull and played 42 rounds of roulette and 22 hands of poker before being caught after three and a half hours.

Liquor & Gaming NSW said “While it can be difficult to vet a person’s age by assessing whether they look over 25, this only underscores the importance of checkpoint and roving ID verification and consideration as to whether the person presenting matches their documentation.”

The Star self-reported the three incidents that occurred from March to July 2019. In total, the Star reported a total of 32 instances of minors gaining access to restricted areas of the casino last year, compated to 35 instances in 2018.

The Star was also fined in July for breaching Covid-19 regulations.

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