VGCCC Slaps Poker Machines Operator ALH with Non-Compliance Charges

Australian major poker machine operator Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH) is facing 62 charges and a fine of up to AU$1.35 million ($904,000) from the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) due to non-compliance with regulatory requirements.

ALH Did not Install YourPlay on 220 of Its Poker Machines

VGCCC has recorded 62 charges against ALH for not installing the compulsory pre-commitment program YourPlay that every gambling machine in Victoria is obliged to have.

According to the Commission’s charges, ALH ran 220 poker machines at 62 out of its 77 venues for a period of not more than 5 weeks without the compulsory YourPlay software installed.

The Commission has charged the company and its CEO Ross Blair-Holt for not ensuring that the compulsory YourPlay software is available to players and, thus, violating the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.

“We have decided to prosecute ALH as the alleged breaches constituted serious and significant non-compliance across 80% of all ALH’s Victorian venues.”

Annette Kimmitt AM, CEO at VGCCC

Kimmitt also added that gambling operators should at least comply with the minimum requirements to protect their customers from gambling harm set by the gambling legislation in the state of Victoria.

Having YourPlay’s functionality available to players on all electronic gaming machines in the state of Victoria is mandatory as per the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.

In December 2021, the VGCCC received information from an anonymous source that poker machine operator ALH is breaching the rules regarding YourPlay.

The regulator immediately started an investigation, visiting a number of the company’s venues. The VGCCC made checks at the company’s properties in Hallam, Sandringham, Narre Warren, Mulgrave, Laverton, and Cheltenham. After ALH got notified about its breaches, it immediately terminated the operations of the non-compliant gaming machines.

Following the charges by the VGCCC, ALH’s violation can eventually lead to a fine of up to AU$1.35 million ($904,000) for the company.

What is YourPlay?

YourPlay is a voluntary card-based pre-commitment system, which allows gamblers to set limits on the money and time they spend gambling. Players can also track their gambling activities over longer periods and each year will receive gaming activity statements covering the whole year.

Players can either register for the program and use the card which will become part of their gambling venue cards or they can use casual cards that do not require registering but offer limited features.

While YourPlay is voluntary for gamblers, gambling operators are required to install the software on all of their gambling machines.