The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has reminded all gambling operators of their “irrefutable legal requirement” to prevent underage gambling after a venue and Tabcorp were charged over allowing a minor to gamble.
The regulator said investigations are continuing into other venues and also called on anyone who has concerns about a minor being allowed to gamble to contact them on 1300 599 759.
The charges allege that venue staff at the Preston Hotel allowed a 16-year-old to access electronic betting terminals to place bets and gamble on six occasions in May and September 2022. The VGCCC investigation commenced after the regulator received a complaint about the minor being allowed to gamble.
As a result of the investigations the Preston Hotel will now face 15 charges, with six counts each of allowing a minor to gamble and failing to reasonably supervise its electronic betting terminals, as well as three charges of allowing a minor to enter a gaming machine area. These charges could attract a maximum fine of 1200 penalty units, which equates to $221,904.
The regulator also said that as the holder of the statewide Wagering and Betting licence, Tabcorp will face eight charges, with four counts of both allowing a minor to gamble and failing to reasonably supervise a gambling vending machine. Charges could attract a maximum fine of 560 penalty units, which equates to $103,505.
VGCCC Gambling Director Glorija Kuzman said: “It is deeply concerning that a minor was able to access betting terminals and gamble on multiple occasions.
“All gambling operators – including venues and the holder of the state-wide Wagering and Betting licence – have an irrefutable legal requirement to do everything they can to stop children from gambling.
“One of the most serious harms is minors gambling. All gaming venues must ensure they do not accept a bet from a minor and ask for identification from anyone they suspect could be underage.
“While electronic betting terminals are legal gambling products, they should not be easy for minors to access and use. Venue operators and Tabcorp are responsible for ensuring they are appropriately supervised at all times.”
The VGCCC also said its investigations are ongoing into additional venues and may result in further charges.