The Tower Hotel in Hawthorn East, Victoria, Australia, is in danger of losing its license because it broke gaming laws and regulations. Under the provisions of the Gaming Regulation Act 2003, the Victorian Gaming and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has launched legal action against the operator Rumotel Pty and ordered the hotel to resolve the non-compliance issues it has been having.
The biggest issue is that The Tower neglects to provide users with the pre-engagement option YourPlay, which tracks their gaming habits. According to the allegations made by the VGCCC, Rumotel failed to comply with the mandated installation of YourPlay on all electronic gambling machines (EGMs), and the YourPlay kiosk located in The Tower was inoperable.
Hefty Price to Pay
Tower Hotel’s gaming machines have been temporarily shut down until compliance is reached after 35 charges were filed, 34 of which were connected to missing technology. In addition, additional fees were incurred since Tower Hotel staff had not received the required YourPlay training.
In total, Tower Hotel is facing potential penalties of up to AUD 758,172 (about US$489,621). In comparison, when the Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group committed similar offenses, the VGCCC issued a punishment of AUD 550,000 (about US$352,000).
Long-Term Plans for Addressing Malpractices
In light of these and other similar incidents, the federal government is proposing sweeping laws to address the issue of compulsive gambling. Credit card and digital currency bans for online gambling are a fundamental part of the new law. Those who are found to be in breach of this prohibition might be subject to significant fines, with the maximum possible penalty amounting to AUD 150,470 (US$234,750).
As part of this legislative proposal, there will be a six-month transition period for the gambling industry and its customers to acclimatize to the new rules. During that period, the government intends to discuss implementing monthly reporting on both successful and failed measures, as well as the creation of a countrywide registration system known as BetStop, as part of this comprehensive effort to tackle compulsive gambling.
This approach will enable Australians to actively remove themselves from all gaming platforms, demonstrating the government’s commitment to reducing the impact of compulsive gambling.
But only time can tell if it will yield the intended purpose, especially given the prevalence of offshore online gambling platforms on the internet. Still, it is a great start that will likely not only encourage compliance with responsible gambling policies but also inspire similar legislation in other jurisdictions.