The VGCCC has fined Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH) $480,000 for operating electronic gaming machines (EGMs) at eight venues outside of nominated trading hours and failing to observe mandatory shutdown periods.
ALH is the largest operator of EGMs in Victoria, with 4690 machines across 76 venues. The VGCCC detected activity outside of the permitted hours on 15 EGMs across the eight venues from 15 February 2023 to 25 May 2023. Gaming venues are required to shutdown for 4 hours after every 20 hours of gaming. Venues are also required to comply with the specific hours they have nominated to operate their EGMs.
In issuing the fine, the Commission noted the importance of deterring similar conduct by other venues.
VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt said: “We expect all venue operators to provide gambling services responsibly and to observe the trading hours for their electronic gaming machines.
“Ensuring patrons take breaks and are not exposed to extended, continuous periods of play are critical to the responsible service of gambling,” she said. “The VGCCC will continue to monitor gaming machine operations to ensure our expectations are being met.”
In August, ALH was prosecuted and fined $550,000 for operating 220 EGMs without mandatory pre-commitment technology (YourPlay) installed. YourPlay is the pre-commitment scheme that empowers players to set time and loss limits and make informed decisions about their gambling. It is mandatory for YourPlay to be available on all electronic gaming machines in Victoria.
ALH operates 76 venues in Victoria. A fine of $420,000 was issued for operating EGMs outside of nominated trading hours and failure to observe mandatory shutdown periods between 15 February 2023 and 21 April 2023 at the following seven ALH venues: First and Last Hotel, Croxton Park Hotel, Albion Charles Hotel, Berwick Inn Taverner, The Millers Inn Hotel, Village Green Hotel and Elsternwick Hotel
A further fine of $60,000 was issued for operating EGMs outside of nominated trading hours and failure to observe mandatory shutdown periods on 25 May 2023 at the Boundary Taverner.