Victorian gaming authority slaps ALH Group with $480,000 pokies fine

Victorian gaming authority slaps ALH Group with $480,000 pokies fine

Photo: Joakim Honkasalo via Unsplash

Victoria’s gaming authority has fined Endeavour Group (ASX: EDV) subsidiary Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group $480,000 for operating electronic gaming machines out of hours earlier this year.

The latest hit brings to more than $1 million the total of fines relating to gaming machines issued this year against the company, which is the largest operator of electronic gaming machines in Victoria with 4690 machines across 76 venues.

The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) says the latest fine relates to ALH Group operating gaming machines at eight venues outside of nominated trading hours and for failing to observe mandatory shutdown periods. Gaming venues are required to shut down for four hours after every 20 hours of gaming.

ALH has been found to have allowed out-of-hours operation of 15 gaming machines across the eight venues from 15 February 2023 to 25 May 2023.

The venues involved are First and Last Hotel, Croxton Park Hotel, Albion Charles Hotel, Berwick Inn Taverner, The Millers Inn Hotel, Village Green Hotel and Elsternwick Hotel.

The VGCCC has revealed that $60,000 of this penalty relates to the Boundary Taverner operating electronic gaming machines outside of nominated trading hours and a failure to observe mandatory shutdown periods on 25 May 2023.

“We expect all venue operators to provide gambling services responsibly and to observe the trading hours for their electronic gaming machines,” says VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt.

"Ensuring patrons take breaks and are not exposed to extended, continuous periods of play are critical to the responsible service of gambling.

“The VGCCC will continue to monitor gaming machine operations to ensure our expectations are being met.”

In August this year, ALH was prosecuted and fined $550,000 for operating 220 electronic gaming machines without mandatory pre-commitment technology, known as YourPlay, installed.

YourPlay, the pre-commitment scheme that allows players to set time and loss limits and make informed decisions about their gambling, is mandatory on all electronic gaming machines in Victoria.

The two fines represent a $1.03 million hit for the hotels operator in 2023.

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