VIC gambling regulator forces hotel owner to sell after serious breaches

VIC gambling regulator forces hotel owner to sell after serious breaches

Photo: Rye Hotel.

Fines issued by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) are not always significant enough to discincentivise a lack of compliance, but an announcement today by the regulator has more bite as it seeks to force the owner of an offending business to sell.

The VGCCC has fined the owner of the Rye Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula $80,000 after two integrity breaches, and has required an undertaking from the owner to sell the business and exit the gambling industry. 

In the first incident, senior staff at the Rye Hotel falsified records to cover up an erroneous cash payment of $2,039 to a patron. 

Venues are required to pay any winnings over $2,000 by cheque or EFT, and the attempt to cover up the breach has been labelled by the VGCCC as constituting "serious integrity failings and misconduct".

In the second incident, the Rye Hotel issued a cheque to an ineligible person at the request of a winning patron who could not produce ID to collect their winnings.

However, venues are required to ensure they only process payments to the person playing the electronic gaming machine and ensure the appropriate identity checks are undertaken. 

In issuing the fine, VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt AM said this decision sends a clear message to the industry about compliance with integrity measures.

"Venue operators and owners need to understand the full extent of consequences for falsifying records and concealing misconduct," Kimmitt said.

"We know that honest mistakes happen. However, venue operators that attempt to cover up breaches will be caught and face serious repercussions."

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