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Tabcorp Fined AU$1 Million for Obstructing Outage Investigation

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Tabcorp Holdings has been hit with a record-breaking fine of AU$1 million by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC).

The penalty was imposed as a result of Tabcorp's uncooperative behavior during an investigation into a system failure that disrupted services during the 2020 Spring Racing Carnival

VGCCC Calls Tabcorp’s Conduct 'Unacceptable'

In its formal statement, the VGCCC expressed its disappointment with Tabcorp's continual refusal to adhere to the commission's orders related to the outage. The failure led to a downtime of roughly 36 hours in Tabcorp’s Wagering and Betting System (WBS), causing significant inconvenience to consumers and the broader industry.

Fran Thorn, the Commission Chair, was forthright in her condemnation, labelling Tabcorp’s conduct as “unacceptable.” She underscored the need for licensees to be transparent and cooperate when investigations concerning public interest are underway.

Thorn explained that Tabcorp's non-disclosure of essential information, particularly about its system’s business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities, forced the Commission to invoke its coercive powers. She explained that the fine was a direct consequence of Tabcorp's failure to comply with VGCCC directives.

Thorn stated that any licensee, regardless of their size, must show complete transparency and adhere to all legally issued directives from the VGCCC. She warned that obstructions to the Commission’s investigations would be met with zero tolerance.

Investigation Raised Concerns

The VGCCC initiated the investigation following a system failure that took place on November 7, 2020, coinciding with a pivotal Saturday racing event. As per its wagering and betting license for the WBS, Tabcorp is obligated to ensure uninterrupted system availability.

Related: VGCCC Berates Operators for Sports Club Sponsorship Inducements

The probe was originally started by the VGCCC's precursor, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, after Tabcorp did not voluntarily offer sufficient details about the outage. VGCCC stated that the lack of cooperation on Tabcorp's part significantly restricted the commission’s capacity to identify the root cause of the failure and ensure it would not happen again.

Tabcorp failed to adhere to the first directive issued by the Commission. Subsequently, it was also revealed that Tabcorp breached the second directive by submitting a report compliant with the Commission's requirements, albeit four months past the deadline.

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