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VGCCC: Tabcorp Forced to Make Most Betting Terminals Cashless

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Tabcorp has been ordered to make most of its Electronic Betting Terminals (EBTs) cashless, following multiple incidents of a minor using them to gamble.

The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has issued a statewide direction that Tabcorp’s betting terminals cannot accept cash bets unless they are within five metres, and in the line of sight of the counter.

This will mean, from late-January 2024, around 70 percent of Tabcorp’s 1800 Electronic Betting Terminals across Victoria will change to only accept vouchers.

To use these terminals, patrons must go to the counter to obtain a voucher, ensuring ID checking occurs where the person appears to be under 25.

Tabcorp has also been directed to rollout an independent “mystery shopper” programme to ensure venues are appropriately checking ID. Failure to comply with the new requirements will result in an escalating series of penalties for those venues, including having all EBTs in the venue switched to voucher mode for six months and Tabcorp terminating agreements with the venues.

Over the past eight months, the VGCCC has charged Tabcorp, along with nine venues, for offences related to allowing a minor within a gaming machine area, allowing a minor to gamble, and failing to reasonably supervise Electronic Betting Terminals. The first case was heard in court last month, with the Magistrate fining the Preston Hotel $25,300 for allowing the then 16-year-old to gamble using betting terminals in 2022.

VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt AM said the strengthened requirements were a response to continued breaches, despite warnings to the industry. “It is inexcusable to accept a bet from a minor and tougher actions are required to protect the community, especially children, from gambling harm,” she said.

“Venue staff are the first line of defence in protecting minors from gambling. We have taken decisive measures where they have failed to take their responsibilities seriously.”

“These stronger identity checks not only represent an additional barrier to allowing children to gamble, but will also help to prevent money laundering,” she said.

“The VGCCC will actively monitor these safeguards to reduce harm, and venues should take note and act to uphold their duty to care for the community.”

The charges against Tabcorp and the remaining eight venues relate to allegedly allowing a minor to gamble in breach of the Gambling Regulation Act 2003, between 8 September 2022 and 20 October 2023.

Tabcorp faces a total of 72 charges of allowing a minor to gamble and failing to reasonably supervise its Electronic Betting Terminals.

If found guilty, the operators face a maximum collective fine of more than one million dollars, while Tabcorp could face a maximum fine of $969,236.40.

Australia

ACMA Blocks More Illegal Gambling Websites

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has requested the Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to block more illegal gambling websites, after investigations found these services to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

The latest sites blocked include Richard Casino and Wanted Win.

Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal gambling services. This action can be taken if a service is:

  • providing prohibited interactive gambling services to customers in Australia (such as online casinos, online slot machines and services that allow in-play online sports betting)
  • providing an unlicensed regulated interactive gambling service to customers in Australia (such as online betting services that don’t have a valid Australian licence)
  • publishing ads for prohibited interactive gambling services or unlicensed regulated interactive gambling services in Australia.

Since the ACMA made its first blocking request in November 2019, 1,011 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked. Over 220 illegal services have also pulled out of the Australian market since the ACMA started enforcing illegal offshore gambling rules.

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Australia

The Star Shuts Down EGMs and ETGs at All Three Australian Casinos Due to “System Performance Issues”

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Electronic gaming machines (EGMs) and electronic table games (ETGs) at all three of Star Entertainment Group’s Australian casinos remained offline on Monday following what it describes as “system performance issues” related to the introduction of cashless gaming technology. The machines had gone dark on Saturday evening.

According to information released by the company via an ASX announcement, the issue relates to planned upgrades to The Star’s systems in readiness for the introduction of cashless gaming.

“Certain of The Star’s systems have been disrupted due to system performance issues identified in post-upgrade testing which resulted in the decision to switch off all Electronic Gaming Machines and Electronic Table Games in each of The Star’s three properties from 10:00 pm onwards on 13 July 2024 until the issue is resolved,” Star said.

“The decision was taken by The Star to ensure compliance with relevant regulations, and to maintain the company’s commitment to safer gambling procedures.”

Star explained that it is working with its systems provider Konami to address the issues but said its properties – Treasury Brisbane, The Star Gold Coast and The Star Sydney – remain open with table games still operational.

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Australia

Sportradar Secures First Pitch at Regulating the Game 2025 in Sydney

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Sportradar is participating at the Regulating the Game conference, and has secured the first pitch with a quickfire talk on “Effective Regulation Through Innovative Technological Solutions”.

Pitch! is a networking event that as part of the Regulating the Game conference seeks to ignite innovation, champion compliance, and propel the gambling industry “toward unparalleled excellence in regulatory achievements”.

“It is a stage for ideas that elevate operational capability, streamline processes, and confront compliance and regulatory hurdles head-on. More than just a platform, Pitch! is a crucible for change, offering insights into how policy can transition into practice for tangible improvements in regulatory policy and supervision,” the event’s organizers said of the Pitch! feature.

The event shines a spotlight on initiatives that foster ethical leadership, promote safer gambling, and bolster defenses against financial crime and money laundering. As the second networking highlight of the conference, Pitch! combines hospitality, food, and drinks with pitches and entertainment, orchestrated under the guidance of special guest host and sponsor Norths Collective.

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