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Tower Hotel in Victoria Facing Further Fines for Responsible Gambling Failures

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Rumotel Pty Ltd, the operator of the Tower Hotel in Victoria, may have to pay an additional fine of up to AU$1.4 million for alleged violations of the state’s responsible gambling laws.

The Victoria Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) claims Rumotel didn't adhere to the Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct. Due to this, the VGCCC has added three more charges against the company operating the Tower Hotel.

Rumotel Faces VGCCC Scrutiny

According to the VGCCC, Rumotel didn't make sure a responsible gambling officer was always present on the gaming floor. Furthermore, it claims that the company failed to keep an accurate responsible gambling register at its Victoria location.

The rules state that there should be a responsible gambling officer available during all gaming hours. These officers are expected to step in when players show signs of problem gambling, and all incidents must be noted in the register. Not following the Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct is a breach of license conditions, as outlined in the Gambling Regulation Act of 2003.

Just as you wouldn’t operate a public swimming pool without a lifeguard, venues are required to continuously monitor their gaming floors and intervene whenever the welfare of players is at risk. The VGCCC will continue to pursue venues that deliberately fail to apply their responsible gambling code of conduct in full.

Annette KimmittVGCCC CEO

Tower Hotel Faces Multiple Charges

This isn't the first run-in Rumotel has had with the authorities. Last month, 35 other charges were filed against them for not adhering to gambling control rules. Earlier charges included neglecting to ensure that the staff underwent mandatory training. Additionally, Rumotel didn't have the obligatory YourPlay pre-commitment tech working on their gaming machines.

All licensees in Victoria have to install YourPlay, which allows players to set limits on time or money spent. Due to these issues, the VGCCC ordered the Tower Hotel to stop using their gaming machines until everything is sorted out. Fines from last month alone could amount to $758,172, pushing the potential total fines up to $2.1 million.

Heading for a Record Breaking Fine

The expected fine for these recent charges, along with the cumulative fines for responsible gambling violations, would exceed Tabcorp’s previous record fine of $1.0 million in Victoria. Tabcorp was fined for a system failure during the 2020 Spring Racing Carnival that left their system offline for around 36 hours. The VGCCC was critical of Tabcorp’s behavior and responses throughout their investigation.

VGCCC has been placing pressure on other operators as well. Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH) faced 62 charges for not having YourPlay on 220 of its gaming machines. They ended up being fined $550,000 and had to cover VGCCC legal costs amounting to $50,000. In a different case, BlueBet faced a potential fine of up to $945,187 for running gambling ads that violated state laws.

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