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Three Victoria venue operators fined for breaching opening hour limits

The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has fined three venues a collective AU$60,000 (£31,221/€36,696/$39,694) for breaching their permitted opening hours.

The VGCCC found patrons continued to play the pokies at the three Victoria casinos outside of opening hours. The commission said it takes such offences “seriously”, choosing to utilise available enforcement action by fining the casinos.

The VGCCC noted that venue operators can opt in to a free offering by Intralot Gaming Services that automatically switches poker machines on and off to align with opening hours.

Operators have also been urged to closely monitor poker machine play and review their licence conditions. The VGCCC encouraged operators to ensure processes are in place to restrict pokies to only being played during opening hours.

New online gambling measures in Victoria

In April, the VGCCC confirmed alterations to online gambling accounts. The new requirements were effective from 1 April.

The changes largely centred on how players viewed information relating to their online accounts. Information on spending will now deduct free and bonus bets from net losses, while net win figures will also be more accurate by excluding all stakes from total payouts.

Additionally, operators must use plain English, taking care to limit unnecessary jargon. The use of black and red should also be restricted to show losses more clearly.

The VGCCC stated it could issue operators with 60 penalty units, equivalent to AU$11,539, for each non-compliant activity statement.

VGCCC chief executive Annette Kimmitt stated: “The days of inconsistent player activity statements are over.

“Wagering account holders will be better informed about their spending. Therefore, they are better equipped to make informed decisions about their gambling, thanks to the clarity and fairness these changes bring.”

VGCCC clamping down

The VGCCC has made increasing efforts of late to punish operators who breach rules on responsible gaming.

MintBet, for instance, was fined AU$150,000 in April for repeatedly breaching responsible gambling regulations. It was found to have violated measures by allowing a player to gamble for 35 hours over a period of around 50 hours. Over that duration, the player in question lost $31,149.

Tabcorp, meanwhile, was ordered to make the majority of its electronic betting terminals in Victoria cashless after numerous cases of underage gambling.

Players will be required to purchase a voucher. To do so, they must pass an ID check at the counter to ensure they are the legal gambling age of 18 and over.