More gambling regulations introduced in Australia

The Victorian and Northern Territory governments introduced new gaming regulations this week to increase oversight of the Crown casino and prevent new gaming machines from being installed, respectively.

This news follows the Tasmanian government’s surprising move in announcing cashless gaming cards that slot machine players will need to sign up for and which will have pre-set default spending limits.

Yesterday, the Andrews Government in Victoria approved the Casino Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Implementation and Other Matters) Bill 2022 through Parliament, which he said is “aimed at strengthening harm minimization measures, combating financial crime and boosting Crown governance and oversight”.

To prevent money laundering through the casino, the legislation introduces mandatory identification checks before a person can engage in gambling activities or claim winnings of more than $1,000. The use of cash will also be limited to $1,000 per 24 hours.

Casino patrons will be able to set time and money limits on their gaming activities through a mandatory pre-commitment system for electronic gaming machines for Australian residents on site. The mandatory pre-commitment system is due to be in place for the casino’s slot machines by the end of next year.

Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne said: “We hold Crown Melbourne accountable and complied with 12 additional recommendations, targeting money laundering and harm minimization, to implement each of the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

“This legislation implements world-leading reforms to ensure that the flaws discovered by the Royal Commission never happen again.”

Meanwhile, the Northern Territory Government has imposed a moratorium on gaming machines in Alice Springs hotels and pubs for nine months.

The move comes after Alice residents petitioned the Government after applications were made for 60 new gaming machines for hotels and taverns in the city.

The moratorium means applications currently submitted for Uncles Tavern, Mercure Alice Springs Resort, Todd Tavern and Gap View Hotel will not be considered until June 2023. Iris Capital purchased the locations earlier this year. australian hotelier reached out to Iris Capital for comment on this, but the company declined to comment at this stage.

Minister for Racing, Gaming and Licensing Chansey Paech said: “The Territory Labor Government knows that problem gambling creates a significant public health risk in communities across the NT, especially for our most vulnerable Territories.

“The people of Alice Springs have voiced their concerns loud and clear, and we are now taking the time to make the application process more robust and in line with community expectations.

“This measure is part of our Government’s broader policy reform to minimize gambling-related harm because it is in the Territories’ best interest; and that is what the locals want”.

The government said it will consider more harm minimization policies and practices during this moratorium.

The crackdown on gaming has also come under the spotlight in New South Wales after a hotel in the Riverina region of the state was hit with fines and legal costs of nearly $40,000 for operating gaming machines outside authorized hours for at least 40 days over a six-month period.

Golden Crown Pty Ltd, the corporate licensee of the Leeton Hotel, Leeton, and its director, Trent Middleton, were each fined $14,000 following an investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW.

Hospitality and Racing CEO Anthony Keon said these were serious breaches of the state’s gambling laws and the penalties send a clear message to other venue operators that do not meet NSW’s stringent requirements for the operation of gaming venues. game machines.

“These restrictions were put in place to reduce the risks of gaming harm by limiting the amount of time customers can spend playing gaming machines,” Keon said.

It added: “The Leeton Hotel displayed a repeated disregard for the law along with the well-being of its patrons, who were exposed to a heightened risk of gambling harm.

“As this penalty shows, venues that fail to adhere to gaming machine trading hours can expect to be caught and face the full force of the law.”

The hotel operates 14 gaming machines and is licensed to operate until 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Liquor & Gaming NSW said it had reviewed the hotel’s gaming activity and found that between April and October 2021, its gaming machines had been operated outside these hours on at least 40 separate dates, mostly in the early morning hours. on Saturday or Sunday and after 10 pm on Sunday nights.

When interviewed, Middleton said he believed there was a 45-minute grace period to play after trading ceased.

Both Middleton and Golden Crown pleaded guilty to breaching the Gaming Machines Act, with Middleton telling the Court that he had donated the profits accumulated through the illegal operation of the machines to charity.

Each party was convicted and fined $14,000 with an additional $10,800 total in costs awarded.

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