ALH charged after alleged failures to minimize gambling harm

18 November 2022

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Australia’s largest poker machine operator will face 62 charges for allegedly operating gaming machines that didn’t have mandatory pre-commitment technology (YourPlay) installed.

YourPlay gives people the ability to set time and spending limits to help them stay in control of their play.

Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group is alleged to have operated 220 gaming machines for up to 5 weeks without YourPlay functionality enabled.

In Victoria, all electronic gaming machines must have an interactive YourPlay display that allows players to set limits on the time or money they spend and to monitor their gaming machine play across venues. While using YourPlay is optional for players, it is mandatory for venues to have it installed and available on all gaming machines in operation.

After an anonymous tip off in December 2021, VGCCC inspectors immediately mobilized to visit multiple venues in Hallam, Sandringham, Narre Warren, Mulgrave, Laverton and Cheltenham to verify the widespread and significant breaches.

Following VGCCC inspections, the company then turned off all 220 non-compliant machines across 62 of its 77 venues.

ALH and an ALH executive officer of the company will face charges for failing to ensure mandatory player equipment was installed under the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.

“We have decided to prosecute ALH as the alleged breaches constituted serious and significant non-compliance across 80 per cent of all ALH’s Victorian venues,” said VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt AM.

“Anyone who holds a gambling licence in Victoria is on notice that they must, at a minimum, comply with their legal obligations to protect patrons from gambling harm. Having YourPlay installed and available on electronic gaming machines is a mandatory requirement to support safer gambling.”

The 62 charges could attract a maximum fine of around $1.35 million.

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