A Riverina hotel has been fined nearly $40k for gaming machine offenses, after repeatedly operating outside authorized hours.

Leeton is a town of around 10k people, almost eight hours’ drive west of Sydney.

The Leeton Hotel is a prominent two-storey pub in the center of main drag Pine Ave. It holds 14 EGMs and is licensed to trade until 1am Monday to Saturday, and 10pm Sunday.

An investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW of the pub’s gaming activity found machines had been operated outside permitted hours on at least 40 separate occasions between April and October 2021.

The times were predominantly early Saturday or Sunday mornings, or after 10pm on Sunday nights.

Corporate licensee Golden Crown P/L and director Trent Middleton faced Downing Center Local Court last week, where it was revealed approximately $9,305 profit has been derived from the illegal trading.

Middleton offered that he had thought there was a 45-minute grace period for gaming following the cessation of trade, and that he had donated the revenue accrued through the illegal operation to charity.

Both Middleton and Golden Crown pleaded guilty to breaches of the Gaming Machines Act.

The Magistrate said the “primary mischief” related to the venue’s failure to ensure harm minimization compliance. Both parties were fined $14,000, plus a further $10,800 in costs was awarded.

Anthony Keon, Hospitality and Racing CEO, notes the breaches are considered serious and the penalties send a clear message to other operators not complying with the rules to operate EGMs.

“These restrictions are in place to reduce risks of gambling harm by limiting the amount of time patrons can spend playing gaming machines,” Keon said.

“As this penalty shows, venues who fail to abide by gaming machine trading hours can expect to be caught and face the full force of the law.”

Image: Google maps:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button