A Magistrate has ordered the Preston Hotel to pay a total of AU$25,300 ($16,600) for allowing a 16-year-old to access betting terminals and gamble at the Hotel on six occasions between May and September 2022.
The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) charged the Preston Hotel in May 2023, following a tip-off from a member of the public.
The Magistrate highlighted the potential for long-term harm that comes from a minor gambling and warned the industry and venues that the onus is on them to stop minors gambling, not on the minor.
In handing down the sentence, her Honour reduced the fine and removed the need to record the conviction, noting the venue operators’ willingness to enter an early plea and to take proactive steps to rectify their failings.
This is the first case to be dealt with by the court regarding a series of charges involving Tabcorp and several other Melbourne gambling venues who allowed a minor to gamble. A further eight venues will face court at a future date after being charged by the VGCCC in September 2023.
VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt AM welcomed the verdict, saying “It is inexcusable to accept a bet from a minor. This sends a clear message to the entire industry. Failing to prevent minors from accessing gambling products won’t be tolerated.”