ALH fined $550,000 for failure to minimise gambling harm

August 29, 2023
By Rachel White

Following prosecution by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC), the Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH) has received a $550,000 fine for operating gaming machines without mandatory pre-commitment technology installed.

ALH is Australia’s largest operator of electronic gaming machines, and the breach involving 220 machines was described as “serious and wilful” in the Magistrate’s ruling. ALH was also ordered to pay the VGCCC’s legal costs, which totalled $50,000.

Annette Kimmitt AM, CEO of the VGCCC, welcomes the ruling. She said the ruling should serve as a warning to all gaming providers that there are consequences for flauting the rules.

“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. Gambling providers need to pay close attention to their obligations because the consequences for getting it wrong can be significant,” she said.

The VGCCC’s legal action resulted from an anonymous tip-off in late 2021, prompting the VGCCC to conduct an inspection blitz of ALH venues across Victoria, resulting in 220 non-compliant gaming machines being identified and turned off.

In November 2022, the VGCCC brought charges against ALH, including 62 counts of failing to ensure pre-commitment technology (YourPlay) was properly installed on gaming machines across 62 of its 77 venues.

YourPlay is Victoria’s statewide pre-commitment scheme that allows gamblers 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.

The Magistrate noted that ALH’s early guilty plea and cooperation with the VGCCC were factors in reducing the fine from the maximum of $1.35 million.

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