View the recent Coronavirus information for licensees
This page summarises the prosecutions for the 2020-2021 financial year.
The Defendant is a licensed bingo centre operator which trades as St Albans Bingo Centre.
As a result of a strategic bingo investigation commencing on or about February 2019, VCGLR Inspectors detected contraventions of the following sections of the GR Act by the Defendant:
On 5 October 2020, the VCGLR accepted an offer from the Defendant to plead to the following three rolled-up charges:
The Magistrate adjourned the matter on good behaviour for 12 months with the following conditions:
(Note: the Defendant provided evidence that it had committed to repaying $70,000 to declared community and charitable organisations).
Tabcorp and two hotels in Melbourne’s northern suburbs have been prosecuted for allowing a minor to gamble. The minor gambled more than $2600 on electronic betting terminals (EBTs) at five venues on multiple occasions over 16 months.
VCGLR conducted an investigation following a complaint made by the minor’s father.
Between March and July 2018, the minor aged 15 and 16 at the time, gambled at three TAB agencies in Preston, Thomastown and Northcote and at the Summerhill Hotel in Reservoir.
Tabcorp was charged with breaching the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 (GR Act) by allowing the minor to gamble across the four locations on 25 different occasions.
The Summerhill Hotel was also charged with breaching the same legislation, including charges for failing to reasonably supervise the EBT on which the minor placed bets at the venue on 10 separate occasions.
Between 23 and 24 August 2019, the same minor aged 17, also used EBTs to gamble more than $400 at the same TAB agency in Preston and at the Browns Corner Hotel in Coburg.
The VCGLR charged Tabcorp again for breaching the GR Act by allowing the minor to gamble across the two venues on consecutive days at 10 different times.
The Browns Corner Hotel was also charged with breaching the GR Act, including a charge for not reasonably supervising the EBT where the underage gambling took place at the venue.
The hotel venue operator was further charged for having an unaccompanied minor on its licensed premises contrary to the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998.
Tabcorp pleaded guilty in the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court and was fined $23,000 plus ordered to pay costs to the VCGLR of almost $17,500.
Magistrate Alger of the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court heard a guilty plea from the Summerhill Hotel. The hotel venue operator was fined $15,000 plus ordered to pay costs to the VCGLR of $9,251.
The Browns Corner Hotel also pleaded guilty and was fined $5,000 plus ordered to pay costs to the VCGLR of $4,000.
In his sentencing remarks, Magistrate Alger said the two hotel operators’ systems in checking age were deficient at the time of the incidents.
Magistrate Alger indicated that it was the joint responsibility of Tabcorp and each hotel operator to ensure there were no minors gambling on EBTs installed at the venues.
In March 2020, the minor was charged in the Children’s Court for breaching the GR Act by gambling as a minor and using fake ID.
The minor was ordered to complete a Children’s Court diversion program with conditions that focussed on his gambling behaviour.
Bingo Bonanza Pty Ltd (Defendant) was the lessee of commercial premises situated at shop 15/560 to 650 High Street, Epping (Premises).
On 30 January 2020, VCGLR inspectors attended the Premises to undertake an unannounced inspection, and participated in a session of bingo. An investigation was subsequently commenced and, in a record of interview on 13 February 2020, the Defendant’s Sole Director made admissions to VCGLR inspectors that the Defendant had not applied for a bingo centre operator’s licence to manage and control the bingo centre at the Premises.
On 29 October 2020, the accused pled guilty to the charge of, between 30 June 2019 and 30 January 2020, at Epping in the State of Victoria, Bingo Bonanza Pty Ltd had management or control of a bingo centre when not holding a bingo centre operator’s licence, contrary to section 8.5.1 of the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.
The Magistrate noted that the accused pled guilty at an early stage of the proceeding and had no prior incidents of non-compliance. The Magistrate ordered the accused to pay $500 to the court fund and released the accused on a good behavior bond for 12 months. The Magistrate also ordered the accused to pay costs of the VCGLR in the amount of $200.
Inspectors observed a minor gambling using Electronic Betting Terminals (EBTs) at a TAB outlet and a TAB hotel contrary to section 10.7.5 of the GR Act, and using a fake ID at a licensed venue in order to gamble contrary to section 10.7.8 of the GR Act.
The Magistrate ordered a Youth Diversion Program requiring the defendant participate in restorative discussions about the impacts of gambling and write a reflective letter.