Australian gaming authorities continue their crackdown on companies for failing to minimize gambling harm, now fining the Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH) AU$550,000 ($352,000) for operating 220 gaming machines ‘without mandatory pre-commitment technology’.
ALH is Australia’s largest operator of electronic gaming machines (EGMs) and the fine comes after prosecution by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC).
In the court ruling, the breaches were described as ‘serious and willful’.
ALH has also been ordered to pay the VGCCC’s legal costs, totaling AU$50,000 ($32,000).
The fine follows a charge by the VGCCC in November of 2022 for 62 counts of failure to ensure the YourPlay pre-commitment tech was installed in gaming machines in 62 of its 77 venues. The discovery was prompted by an anonymous tip, which led to the inspection and detection of the 220 non-compliant machines.
Yourplay is mandatory in the state of Victoria on all electronic gaming machines.
An early guilty plea and cooperation by ALH with the VGCCC ‘were factors in reducing the fine from the maximum of AU$1.35 million ($865,000)’, notes the commission.
Speaking of the verdict, VGCCC’s CEO, Annette Kimmitt noted “This outcome demonstrates the VGCCC’s commitment to pursuing those operators who opportunistically or deliberately contravene their obligations to protect the community from gambling harm.”