Mount Pritchard & District Community Club – Mounties – has been convicted and ordered to pay almost $6000 in fines and costs for allowing a toddler to use a gaming machine.
In Downing Centre Local Court on July 1, Magistrate Sharon Freund found the club guilty of breaching NSW laws that ban minors from remaining in gaming areas at licensed premises.
This was after a defended hearing on June 4 where the club pleaded not guilty to the offence.
A Liquor & Gaming NSW investigation, which included seizing CCTV footage, found the total time the toddler was in the gaming room was 1 minute and 48 seconds.
The footage showed a young boy who appeared to be aged under five sitting on a stool in front of a gaming machine with a man standing behind him. The child was pressing buttons on the machine without money inserted.
Footage screened on Nine News shows it’s only when two staff members walk past and don’t appear to notice the child that the carer lifts the boy down from the stool.
The staff were only alerted to the boy’s presence when he ran past them. The man and the boy then left the club.
Liquor & Gaming NSW director of compliance operations Sean Goodchild said the offence was a serious breach of NSW gaming laws.
“These laws are in place to protect minors from exposure to gaming machines which have the potential to cause significant harm,” Mr Goodchild said.
“All venues with gaming machines have a clear responsibility to supervise and monitor gaming machine areas to ensure minors do not enter and remain in gaming machine areas at any time.”
Mounties is the most profitable club venue for gaming machines in NSW.
In a statement Mounties Group Chief Executive Officer Dale Hunt said: “Mounties Group is incredibly disappointed with the outcome and will be appealing this decision.”
“In our opinion, the Magistrate’s decision came down to a discrepancy in legal definition, rather than an intentional breach of the law.”