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NSW Hotel Fined for Operating Gaming Machines Out of Hours

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A hotel in Newcastle, New South Wales, has been issued a fine of $7,540 for operating its gaming machines outside of the allowed times.

Following an investigation carried out by Liquor & Gaming NSW, the licensee of The Royal Inn Hotel in Waratah pleaded guilty to 13 offences under the Gaming Machines Act 2001 in Downing Centre Local Court.

These restrictions are in place to reduce the risks of gambling harm by limiting the time patrons can spend playing gaming machines. Apart from breaking the law, the Royal Inn Hotel placed its patrons at greater risk of gambling harm. As this case shows, venues that fail to abide by gaming machine trading hours can expect to be caught and face significant penalties.

Jane LinLiquor & Gaming NSW Executive Director of Regulatory Operations

Machines Operational in Shutdown Hours

The investigation found that on three Saturdays in April 2023, the 15th, 22nd, and 29th, the hotel’s gaming machines were operational during shutdown hours, from 1 am to 7 am. In court, the hotel argued that this was the result of a genuine misunderstanding of the rules on the part of the manager.

During sentencing, the court reiterated that it is the responsibility of licensees to ensure that their staff are properly trained. The magistrate also said it is important that the sentencing reminds other land-based casinos and venues with gaming machines of their responsibilities.

Several Enforcement Actions from Liquor & Gaming NSW

In its ongoing efforts to combat the detrimental effects of gambling, Liquor & Gaming NSW has intensified its enforcement measures. Over the past few months, significant actions have been undertaken. One notable instance occurred in January when Vbar, a bar located in Sydney, faced prosecution.

The licensee was held accountable for the placement of an ATM in close proximity to gaming machines, a violation of regulations aimed at minimizing potential gambling harm. This enforcement action underscores the agency's commitment to safeguarding communities from the adverse consequences associated with irresponsible gambling practices.

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