Tabcorp facing allegations of allowing underage gambling

Content Team 1 year ago
Tabcorp facing allegations of allowing underage gambling

Tabcorp and the Preston Hotel are facing combined allegations for affording access of an electronic betting terminal to a minor. Accusations that could yield a combined penalty of up to $325,409 should they be found guilty of all charges.

Multiple offences of the aforementioned nature were perpetrated in both May and September of last year, when a 16-year-old was allowed access to and participation in betting activities. The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has charged the venue with 15 counts and Australia’s largest gambling operator, Tabcorp, with 8.

The gambling director of the VGCCC, Glorija Kuzman, described the charges as “deeply concerning” and vehemently stated that minors being allowed access to gambling activities is “one of the most serious harms”.

Kuzman would go on to re-enforce the stance the VGCCC imposes on all gambling licence holders state-wide:

Have an irrefutable legal requirement to do everything they can to stop children from gambling. All gaming venues must ensure they do not accept a bet from a minor and ask for identification from anyone they suspect could be underage

She also confirmed there have been and will continue to be investigations by the VGCCC into additional venues and operators which will most certainly imply any further regulatory action if necessary.

This comes as Australia’s $25 billion industry undergoes massive scrutiny into all aspects of their activities. Several factors are being investigated and multiple legislations are being reviewed with the intention of enacting amendments.

Australia has one of the highest gambling participation rates throughout the world, and along with this, possessing an industry perpetuating the highest risk globally, of inducing problem gambling.

Victoria, Australia.
Victoria, Australia.

As of late a regulatory crackdown has seen such instances as the holistic prohibition of credit card usage across all gambling activities as well as the imposition of regulatory time limits at casinos and across online platforms. Regulatory actions that have been actively supported by industry leaders, including Tabcorp themselves.

Increasingly large fines have also been handed out, bringing to light so simply horrific industry practices along with some inexcusable lapses in security and in regulatory judgement such as this case involving a minor.

Such unscrupulous practices from top to bottom are currently under investigation throughout the industry but the sheer number of offences have many wondering if the highly lucrative industry is in fact capable of complying. The cases of illicit practice seem to be increasing making it even more difficult to stamp out.

A different regulatory approach may be necessary, with a solution of some kind required urgently, not least due to the additional issues of money laundering and terrorism being ever more of a risk with such an impactful national industry.

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