Rumotel Pty Ltd, operator of the Tower Hotel in Victoria, could face an additional fine of up to AU$1.4m (PS725,498/EUR838,509/US$881,548) for allegedly breaching responsible gambling rules in the Australian state.
Victoria Gambling and Casino Control Commission, (VGCCC), alleges that Rumotel violated the Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct. The VGCCC issued three additional charges against Tower Hotel.
VGCCC claims Rumotel did not ensure that a gambling responsible officer was always on hand at the casino floor. Rumotel is accused of failing to maintain an appropriate responsible gambling log at the Tower Hotel, Victoria.
According to the Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct, venues are required to ensure that responsible gambling officers will be present in gaming rooms during operating hours. The officers should intervene when patrons show signs of distress, or play for long periods. These incidents must be recorded.
According to the Gambling Regulation Act of 2003, failing to comply with a Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct constitutes a violation of an operator’s license conditions.
VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt stated that venues must monitor gaming areas continuously and take action whenever players’ safety is in danger.
The VGCCC continues to prosecute venues who deliberately do not adhere to their Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct in its entirety.
Tower Hotel is facing charges
These charges are in addition to the 35 that were filed last month against the operator for alleged violations of gambling control laws in Victoria.
Rumotel was accused of failing to complete mandatory training for its staff. Rumotel failed to ensure that the YourPlay pre-commitment system was working on all of its gaming machines, including kiosks.
YourPlay is required for all Victoria licensed gaming machines. YourPlay lets users set time and money limits, as well as keep track of machine play.
The VGCCC responded by ordering Tower Hotel to stop operating all gaming machines until the issue is resolved.
The charges from last month could result in a maximum fine of $758,172. The fine for Rumotel’s charges could be as high as $2.1m.
Tabcorp fine could exceed $1.0m
The proposed fines for three additional charges as well as the total penalties for responsible gambling would exceed the $1.0m record fine Tabcorp received in Victoria last September.
The penalty is for a system failure that occurred at the Spring Racing Carnival 2020. Tabcorp’s Wagering and Beting System was down for 36 hours during this event. According to the Wagering and Betting Licence and Agreement, this system must be available continuously.
VGCCC criticized Tabcorp for its conduct in an investigation of the case. Tabcorp was also criticized for the way it responded to the VGCCC’s directions in the case.
The VGCCC at the time said that the severity of the violation warranted an unprecedented fine by the regulator.
Victoria clamping down
Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group, (ALH), is another operator that has felt the VGCCC’s wrath in the last few months. This regulator found 220 ALH machines running without YourPlay.
VGCCC alleged that ALH failed to install YourPlay properly on machines in 62 out of its 77 locations. ALH was fined $550,000 by a magistrates’ court and required to pay VGCCC $50,000 in legal fees.
BlueBet, the online gambling operator, was fined up to $945.187 in August for violating advertising rules. BlueBet placed three advertisements for gambling on Victoria billboards over a period of two weeks last year.
In certain places, state laws prohibit the display of static advertisements for gambling. This includes on the public transport infrastructure within 150 meters of a school perimeter, and above or on a road or infrastructure.