The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has taken action against Tabcorp, ordering the company to convert almost all of its Electronic Betting Terminals (EBTs) to cashless systems. The directive comes in response to incidents where minors were found gambling on the EBTs, a practice that is illegal in the province.
Starting in late January, the only EBTs allowed to accept cash bets will be those located within five meters and within sight of the counter. Of Tabcorp’s 1,800 terminals in the province, about 70% of them will be required to accept only vouchers and prohibit cash bets. In addition, players will need to submit their ID to the counter in order to receive a voucher, and those under the age of 25 will be prohibited from placing bets.
Tabcorp will also be required to implement a “mystery shopper” program to ensure that all venues are checking the IDs of their customers. Failure to comply with the new regulations will result in penalties for venues and the termination of contracts with Tabcorp.
The VGCCC has raised concerns about Tabcorp’s compliance with the law, citing various violations over the past eight months. These violations include allowing minors to access areas with gaming machines and place bets, as well as a failure to properly supervise the Electronic Betting Terminals.
One case has already resulted in a fine of $25,300 for Preston Hotel, which allowed a teenager to gamble in 2022. Annette Kimmit, the CEO of VGCCC, emphasized the importance of protecting the community, especially children, from the harms of gambling. The VGCCC will actively monitor safeguards to reduce harm, and venues are urged to uphold their duty to care for the community.
Tabcorp is alleged to have breached the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 multiple times between September 8, 2022, and October 20, 2023, resulting in a total of 72 breaches related to minor gambling and a failure to supervise the company’s EBTs. The potential fines for these breaches could amount to up to $969,236.40.
The investigation into Tabcorp’s actions began following a public complaint, signaling a concerted effort by the VGCCC to address concerns and enforce regulations.