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Eight Venues Face Consequences in Victoria Following EGM Breach

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The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has taken action against multiple operators for allegedly opening their electronic gaming machine areas outside of permitted hours.

According to the VGCCC, eight gaming venues violated its gambling regulations which require operators to permit access to EGM spaces within hours specified within liquor licenses. These venues also failed to enforce the mandatory continuous four-hour break within every 24-hour period.

Consequently, the operators have been served with show-cause notices, with potential penalties such as license suspension or cancellation and imposition of fines. They are given 28 days to defend their actions and explain to the VGCCC why they should not be sanctioned.

Venue operators should know by now that we will not tolerate failure to provide gambling services responsibly. Venue operators are on notice to ensure they observe the trading hours for their electronic gaming machines as noted on their licences. These notices are a warning to venue operators all over Victoria that we are monitoring data from their electronic gaming machines and will uncover breaches.

Annette KimmittCEO of VGCCC

Continuous Monitoring

The VGCCC was able to discover the breaches through continuous monitoring of EGM data, which tracks various compliance directors, such as plays outside permitted hours of operation, failure to connect to the YourPlay pre-commitment system, and irregular activities that may suggest money laundering.

Furthermore, the monitoring process has revealed that over seven metropolitan local government areas allow 24-hour gambling due to the staggered closing times adopted by venues.

Introduced Reforms

Due to these infractions, the Victorian government recently announced a new set of reforms to regulations guiding electronic gaming machines in the states.

Some of them include enforcing mandatory pre-commitment load-up limits, from the current limit of $1000 to $100. Furthermore, starting from mid-2024, all gaming areas, except ones in Crown Casino, are required to close between 4 am and 10 am.

To address concerns about rapid gambling, the government also decided to restrict pokies to a three-second spin rate.

The reforms will be the toughest gambling harm prevention and anti-money laundering measures in Australia ever since it legalized gambling. Highly welcomed with high optimism from several quarters, many people hope the reforms will minimize the rising gambling-related problems in the jurisdiction.

According to the latest survey findings, from 73% of Australian adults that gambled at least once in the past 12 months, about half of them (46%) were classified to be at some risk of gambling harm.

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