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Victoria venues fined after violating the opening hours limit

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The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has fined three venues a collective AU$60,000 (PS31,221/EUR36,696/$39,694) for breaching their permitted opening hours.

VGCCC discovered that patrons played pokies outside the opening hours at three Victoria casinos. It said that it took such offenses “seriously” and chose to use available enforcement actions by fining casinos.

VGCCC stated that operators of venues can sign up for a free service offered by Intralot Gaming Services, which automatically turns poker machines on or off in accordance with the opening hours.

Operators were also urged to review the conditions of their licenses and closely monitor play on poker machines. VGCCC encouraged operators that they should ensure there are processes in place for restricting pokies play to opening hours only.

Victoria’s new online gambling laws

The VGCCC announced in April that there would be changes to the online gaming accounts. New requirements became effective on 1 April.

Changes mainly centered on the way players view information about their accounts online. The information on expenditure will be updated to exclude free bets and bonuses from the net loss figures, while also improving net winnings by subtracting all stakes.

Operators must also use simple English and limit the unnecessary jargon. To make losses easier to see, the use of red and black should be limited.

VGCCC said it would issue 60 penalty units (equivalent to AU$11 539) for every non-compliant statement of activity.

Annette Kimmitt, CEO of the VGCCC said: “The inconsistent statements about player activities are gone.”

The holders of wagering accounts will have a better understanding of their expenditure. They are therefore better equipped to take informed gambling decisions, as a result of the changes.

VGCCC clamping down

In recent years, the VGCCC has increased its efforts to penalize operators who violate rules governing responsible gambling.

MintBet was, for example, fined AU$150,000 for violating gambling regulations repeatedly. The company was found guilty of violating measures when it allowed a gambler to play for 35 hours in a span of 50 hours. The player lost $31,149 over that time period.

Tabcorp was also ordered to cashless the majority of electronic betting terminals it operates in Victoria after numerous instances of gambling by minors.

The players will need to buy a voucher. They must first pass a check of their ID at the counter, to confirm that they have reached the gambling age.

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