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Newcastle Hotel Fined for Breaching Gaming Regulations

In the latest gambling news, Newcastle hotel fined and in hot water because of a breach of regulations. The Royal Inn Hotel, nestled in Waratah, Newcastle, has found itself at the center of a legal battle, resulting in a hefty fine of $7,540. The fine was imposed following a conviction of operating gaming machines beyond authorized hours. This transgression came to light during proceedings at the Downing Centre Local Court on March 11, where the licensee pleaded guilty to 13 offenses under the Gaming Machines Act 2001. The verdict followed a thorough investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW.

What Caused this Ban?

According to Liquor & Gaming NSW’s investigation, the hotel operated gaming machines during prohibited hours on three Saturdays in April 2023—namely, the 15th, 22nd, and 29th. In its defense, the hotel argued that the breaches stemmed from a genuine misunderstanding of the license conditions by the approved manager.

Why Gambling Regulations Matter?

Jane Lin, the Executive Director of Regulatory Operations at Liquor & Gaming NSW, emphasized the importance of enforcing regulations designed to mitigate the risks of gambling harm. Lin stated, “These restrictions are in place to reduce the risks of gambling harm by limiting the time patrons can spend playing gaming machines.”

Consequences of Violation of Regulations

The violation not only constituted a breach of the law but also heightened the vulnerability of patrons to gambling-related harm. Lin further warned that venues flouting gaming machine trading hours would face repercussions, as demonstrated by the penalty imposed on the Royal Inn Hotel.

During the sentencing, the Magistrate underscored the obligation of licensees to ensure that their staff receive adequate training. The Magistrate stressed the significance of sending a clear message to venues that profit from gaming machines in New South Wales.

The First of Many

This incident is just one among several enforcement actions undertaken by Liquor & Gaming NSW to uphold gaming regulations and mitigate gambling harm. In a separate incident in January 2024, the licensee of Vbar, an inner Sydney venue, faced prosecution for breaching gaming harm minimization measures by placing an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) near gaming machines.

In Conclusion

Liquor & Gaming NSW has initiated cashless gaming trials aimed at assessing the impact of technology on gambling behavior and harm minimization. These efforts underscore the ongoing commitment of regulatory authorities to safeguarding the well-being of the community amidst the challenges posed by gambling.

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