Victoria’s gambling regulator, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC), has ordered racing and wagering giant Tabcorp to make the majority of its local betting terminals cashless following recent incidents of a minor using them to gamble.
Under a new directive announced Sunday, Tabcorp’s betting terminals will from later this month no longer be able to accept cash bets unless they are within five metres and in the line of sight of the betting counter.
According to the VGCCC, this means around 70% of the company’s 1,800 Electronic Betting Terminals across Victoria will go cashless. To use these terminals, patrons must go to the counter to obtain a voucher, ensuring ID checking occurs where the person appears to be under 25.
Tabcorp has also been directed to rollout an independent “mystery shopper” program to ensure venues are appropriately checking ID, the VGCCC added. Failure to comply with any of these new requirements will result in an escalating series of penalties for those venues, including having all EBTs in the venue switched to voucher mode for six months and Tabcorp terminating agreements with the venues.
The move comes after Tabcorp recently charged Tabcorp and nine venues with offences related to allowing a minor within a gaming machine area, allowing a minor to gamble, and failing to reasonably supervise Electronic Betting Terminals.
“It is inexcusable to accept a bet from a minor and tougher actions are required to protect the community, especially children, from gambling harm,” said VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt AM.
“Venue staff are the first line of defence in protecting minors from gambling. We have taken decisive measures where they have failed to take their responsibilities seriously.
“These stronger identity checks not only represent an additional barrier to allowing children to gamble, but will also help to prevent money laundering.
“The VGCCC will actively monitor these safeguards to reduce harm, and venues should take note and act to uphold their duty to care for the community.”
Tabcorp still faces 72 charges of allowing a minor to gamble and failing to reasonably supervise its Electronic Betting Terminals between 8 September 2022 and 20 October 2023. If found guilty, the operators face a maximum collective fine of more than AU$1 million (US$669,000), while Tabcorp could face a maximum fine of AU$969,236 (US$648,000).