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The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is the independent statutory authority that regulates Victoria's gambling and liquor industries.

Our vision is that Victorians and visitors enjoy safe and responsible gambling and liquor environments.
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The VCGLR regulates businesses focusing on the people, premises, products and promotions involved in supplying gambling to ensure the integrity of Victoria's gambling industries and to minimise harm.
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The VCGLR regulates businesses focusing on the people, premises, products and promotions involved in supplying liquor to ensure the integrity of Victoria's liquor industries and to minimise harm.
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Bookmaker frequently asked questions

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Frequently asked questions about bookmakers can be found on this page.

When and where can I operate as a bookmaker?

You must be registered by the VCGLR, or be an approved substitute, and hold a club bookmaker's licence from the relevant racing industry controlling body: Racing Victoria, Harness Racing Victoria or Greyhound Racing Victoria. Club licences provide the authority for bookmakers to field at race meetings of each racing code and in some cases, to conduct 24-hour trading at racecourses.

You can then conduct bookmaking on:

  • a Victorian racecourse
  • part of a racecourse
  • an approved off-course premises, or
  • a sports ground.
What is a licence levy?

Controlling bodies may also impose a monetary licence levy on registered bookmakers who hold a club bookmaker's licence with them. The levy imposed must be approved by the Minister for Racing. Please contact the controlling bodies directly for more information:

What are the offences for which the VCGLR may take disciplinary action?

The VCGLR may take disciplinary action against a registered bookmaker or bookmaker's key employee for offences against the Act, the Racing Act 1958, associated regulations, licence conditions and directions, including:

  • that the registration was improperly obtained in that, at the time it was granted, there were grounds for refusing it
  • that the registration holder failed to provide information that the holder is required by the Act or the Racing Act 1958 to provide or has provided information knowing it to be false or misleading
  • that the registration holder has breached the Act or the Racing Act 1958 or a condition of registration
  • that the registration holder, corporation, executive officer or nominee of the corporation has been found guilty of a relevant offence
  • that the registration holder has become an insolvent under administration or, if the registration holder is a corporation, an externally administered body corporate
  • that there have been repeated breaches by the registered bookmaker of the bookmaker's Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct
  • that the registration holder is, for any other reason, not a suitable person to be registered as a bookmaker or bookmaker's key employee.

Registered bookmakers must not allow a person convicted of a "relevant offence" within the last ten years to handle, or have any involvement, in any bets made with the bookmaker or the publication of betting odds. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action being taken against the bookmaker.

A "relevant offence" includes:

  • an offence against the Racing Act 1958, or a gaming Act or regulation
  • an offence involving fraud or dishonesty
  • an indictable offence or an offence that, if committed in Victoria, would be an indictable offence.
What are the offences for allowing a minor to gamble?

A registered bookmaker or bookmaker's key employee must not allow a minor to gamble or take a bet from a minor. A breach of this provision may result in a penalty of 20 penalty units or, in the case of a body corporate, 120 penalty units.

A registered bookmaker must also display any notices in relation to gambling by minors if directed to in writing by the VCGLR and in accordance with any direction given by the VCGLR. A breach of this provision may result in a penalty of 60 penalty units.

What are the set of directions?

Once registration is granted, you will be given a set of directions, which gives you an ongoing responsibility to notify the VCGLR in writing of specific changes to your situation, within 14 days of such a change occurring. You can do so by contacting us, or writing to us by post to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, GPO Box 1988, Melbourne VIC 3001.

If the VCGLR is not notified of a specified change, disciplinary action may be taken.

Disciplinary action taken by the VCGLR may include:

  • the cancellation or suspension of registration
  • the variation of the conditions of registration
  • issuing a letter of censure
  • in the case of a registered bookmaker, a fine of up to 50,000 penalty units.
Are there events other than racing?

For a bookmaker to take bets on an event other than horse racing, harness racing or greyhound racing; you will need to obtain approval for a betting contingency from the VCGLR. See Approved betting events for a list of the approved sports betting events.

Any sporting, community and other non-profit organisations that wish to hold sporting or community events that will involve the operation of bookmakers must obtain approval from the Minister for Racing as required under the Racing Act 1958. For further information, contact the Department of Justice and Regulation on (03) 8684 1910 about these requirements.

Will I receive a registration certificate and identity card?

The VCGLR will issue a certificate of registration and an identity card to you as a registered bookmaker (or to the nominee if the bookmaker is a corporation) or bookmaker's key employee. If you are working on a racecourse, or part of a racecourse, you must wear your identity card so it is clearly visible to other people.

If you have lost or damaged your certificate of registration or your identity card, you will need to write to the VCGLR for a replacement. In addition, you will need to provide a statutory declaration listing details of how the certificate of registration or identity card was lost or damaged. A statutory declaration can be made at your local police station. Ensure you have kept a copy for your records. Once we have received your letter and declaration, a replacement identity card will be sent to you.

You must return the certificate of registration and identity card to the VCGLR within 14 days if your registration being cancelled or suspended. The penalty is up to 20 penalty units and/or an on the spot fine of two penalty units.

What is the responsible gambling code of conduct?

It is a condition of registration that you implements a Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct that has been approved by the VCGLR.

How do I surrender my bookmaker's registration?

For more information on bookmakers, contact us

Page last modified 
9 February 2017