Hospitality and Racing leaders visit Tamworth to listen and learn

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The NSW Government’s Vibrancy Reforms will be top of the agenda when the Hospitality and Racing Regulatory Roadshow program visits Tamworth on Tuesday 21 May.

Senior executives from Hospitality and Racing will meet with businesses, industry groups and community and Aboriginal representatives to discuss the Government’s liquor and gaming reforms and regulatory priorities.

The event will also include a presentation by the Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner on the Government’s Vibrancy Reforms to cut red tape in areas such as noise regulation and boost live music and other entertainment options.

Hospitality and Racing Deputy Secretary Tarek Barakat said the roadshow would provide a great opportunity to engage in genuine dialogue with local industry leaders.

“We’re looking forward to catching up with Tamworth’s liquor, gaming and racing stakeholders to discuss how we can work together to support safe and vibrant hospitality experiences,” Mr Barakat said.

“Tamworth is famous for its annual country music festival, but it also has a thriving live music scene throughout the year.

“This has been expanded even further, as seven Tamworth venues have now taken up the NSW Government’s Vibrancy Reform initiative, providing two hours extended trading in return for hosting live music.”

Mr Barakat said the roadshow was also a valuable opportunity for Hospitality and Racing leaders to gain feedback and suggestions on how they could better support the unique needs of north-west NSW communities.

“Those living and working in their communities are best placed to advise us on what is needed and how we can all work better together to achieve outcomes,” he said.

“This is especially true for the local Aboriginal community, and I look forward to hearing from them in regard to the liquor and gaming reforms, as well as listening to any suggestions for future changes and initiatives.”

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Queensland Parliament Passes New Laws Restricting Cash Gambling at Casinos

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The Queensland Parliament has passed new laws restricting cash gambling at casinos. New laws will increase regulatory scrutiny and enhance the integrity of Queensland casinos, with a focus on reducing gambling harm.

The reforms enable the government to implement the remaining recommendations of the Review of the Queensland operations of The Star Entertainment Group by the Honourable Robert Gotterson AO KC.

It marks the second raft of substantial legislative changes to the Casino Control Act 1982 in the past two years.

Under the legislation, casinos will be required to:

  • implement mandatory carded play for certain games and activities, with restrictions on the use of cash, as well as mandatory pre-commitment, with time limits and enforced player breaks
  • issue player cards and collect information relating to play and provide certain de-identified data to the regulator
  • comply with an enforceable code of conduct to be defined in a regulation
  • pay a supervision levy to the government to cover the costs of casino regulation and to fund harm minimisation programs
  • take steps to exclude people who are banned from interstate casinos by an interstate police commissioner.

The legislation increases regulatory scrutiny, requiring Queensland casinos to undergo a periodic review of their operations and suitability at least every five years. Certain outdated and potentially stigmatising language was also removed from the legislation.

The reforms also enhance and modernise casino inspectorate powers, by updating the way inspectors may request information and allowing them to interview minors and excluded persons on casino premises (if the minor or excluded person is found on the premises).

The new laws represent the second set of substantial reforms to the Casino Control Act in the past two years.

Previous reforms implemented by the government in 2022 removed barriers to disciplinary action and ensure that meaningful penalties could be levelled against casinos where warranted.

The earlier reforms, which allowed government to fine casino entities up to $100 million and appoint a special manager to oversee their operations, were key in disciplinary action taken against The Star Entertainment Group in December 2022.

Quotes attributable to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Yvette D’Ath:

“Queenslanders have the right to expect casinos are being operated lawfully and in a way that minimises harm.

“The new laws will help ensure Queensland casinos operate with integrity and that they have measures in place to prevent gambling harm and combat money laundering.

“Importantly, these reforms pave the way to implementing the remaining recommendations of the Gotterson Review, with the government now focused on developing the regulations required to enforce these reforms.”

The post Queensland Parliament Passes New Laws Restricting Cash Gambling at Casinos appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.


Newcastle Hotel Fined for Gaming Machine Offences

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Newcastle hotel out of pocket $7,540 for gaming machine offences

A Newcastle hotel has been fined $7,540 after being convicted of operating gaming machines outside authorised hours.

The licensee of the Royal Inn Hotel at Waratah pleaded guilty to 13 offences under the Gaming Machines Act 2001 in Downing Centre Local Court on March 11 following an investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW.

Executive Director of Regulatory Operations, Jane Lin, said these were serious breaches of the state’s gaming laws.

“These restrictions are in place to reduce the risks of gambling harm by limiting the time patrons can spend playing gaming machines,” Lin said. “Apart from breaking the law, the Royal Inn Hotel placed its patrons at greater risk of gambling harm. As this case shows, venues that fail to abide by gaming machine trading hours can expect to be caught and face significant penalties.”

Liquor & Gaming NSW reviewed the hotel’s gaming activity and found that on Saturday, April 15, 22 and 29, 2023, gaming machines were operated during the shutdown period from 1am to 7am. The hotel submitted to the court that the breaches were a genuine misunderstanding of the licence conditions by the approved manager.

In sentencing, the magistrate noted the onus was on the licensee to ensure staff were appropriately trained and that a message had to be sent to those venues, which had the highly profitable right of operating gaming machines in New South Wales.

For free, confidential advice and support, call GambleAware on 1800 858 858 24/7 or visit www. GambleAware.nsw. gov. au.


AUSTRAC Commences Investigation into Online Betting Company Bet365

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AUSTRAC has commenced an enforcement investigation into Hillside (Australia New Media) Pty Limited (bet365).

The investigation will focus on whether bet365 has complied with its obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) and follows a supervisory campaign of entities within the corporate bookmaker sector and AUSTRAC’s consideration of the external audit report received following AUSTRAC’s order to bet365 to appoint an external auditor.

AUSTRAC CEO Brendan Thomas, said betting agencies, like all regulated entities, have a significant role to play in combating financial crime.

“Corporate bookmakers must have robust systems in place to ensure they can manage and mitigate risks associated with money laundering and terrorism financing,” Mr Thomas said.

“Businesses without adequate processes in place to manage those risks leave themselves vulnerable to exploitation by criminals.”


ACMA Blocks More Illegal Gambling Websites

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has requested the Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to block 12 more illegal gambling websites, after investigations found these services to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

The latest sites blocked are Playzilla, Wazamba, Zet Casino, Slots Palace, Nomini, Casinia, SG Casino, Fez Bet, Buran Casino, Spin Better, Golden Bet and

Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal gambling services. This action can be taken if a service is:

  • providing prohibited interactive gambling services to customers in Australia (such as online casinos, online slot machines and services that allow in-play online sports betting)
  • providing an unlicensed regulated interactive gambling service to customers in Australia (such as online betting services that don’t have a valid Australian licence)
  • publishing ads for prohibited interactive gambling services or unlicensed regulated interactive gambling services in Australia.

Since the ACMA made its first blocking request in November 2019, 926 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked. Over 220 illegal services have also pulled out of the Australian market since the ACMA started enforcing illegal offshore gambling rules.


Live horse racing data giants agree landmark merger

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Total Performance Data and tripleSdata have come together to create the world’s largest automated distributor of live horse racing performance data to racecourses, stakeholders, bookmakers, media and racing fans.

Under the terms of the deal, TPD and tSd will become a merged entity. The merger will result in the combined company supplying live and post-race performance data from over 100 racetracks in 11 different countries, 365 days a year.  Amongst the 5000+ race days tracked will be many of racing’s most valuable and notable races including the $150 million of prize money at The Breeders’ Cup, The Saudi Cup, The Dubai World Cup, The Everest, The Melbourne Cup, Royal Ascot, The Pegasus, St Leger, The US Triple Crown and much more.

Racing fans will be able to access the live and post-race tracking data to contextualise the performances of the world’s leading thoroughbreds. Additionally, TPD’s unique automated in-play odds can be made available for all racecourses across the world providing fans the ability to bet on these prestigious events after the off.

Crucial to TPD’s success has been the long-term vision to create new revenue streams for racecourses. With over £50 million now bet on their in-play odds, this is now a reality. Entain, Sky Bet, William Hill, Bet Victor and Boylesports all leverage the fully automated and neural network inspired live odds.

tSd’s founders Carlos Santo and Sebastian Scholz will join TPD’s Board and assist with day-to-day management of a team of over 40 people globally. With offices in London and Sydney, Brad Higgins will drive APAC sales, while John McBroom will lead the global sales effort. More talent is set to be added to existing teams of engineers, data scientists, machine learning and AI experts and a new sensor fusion division specialising in computer vision to further enhance the next generation of racing insights.

Will Duff Gordon, CEO of TPD, commented: “We are extremely pleased to welcome the passionate and determined tripleSdata team to create a global champion of racehorse tracking and revenue generation. We are aware that today’s consolidated bookmakers seek the maximum amount of product from each partner, and we’re pleased to add three more countries of top class racing to the existing eight.

“The scale of the combined company unlocks the level of investment and expertise that racing needs to tell its story through advanced data. The effort to bring live racing from 12 time zones across 11 countries on five continents for 24/7 live action is testament to the partnerships built by TPD and tSd with the likes of Arena Racing Company, Equibase, Sky Sports Racing, At The Races, Emirates Racing Authority, Ascot, Australian Turf Club, Racing New South Wales, Racing Queensland, Racing Victoria, Racing South Australia, Singapore and Auckland Thoroughbred Racing.

“As with all industries and sports, the sport of horse racing is having to compete hard for attention. TPD and its racecourse partners share a vision that the tracking content can make the sport more appealing, and in the process make betting more fun. With multiple updates per second on speed, position and stride the goal remains to lift the lid on how horses run in order to engage a new generation of data hungry sports fans. We are confident this deal goes a long way to achieving that goal.”

Carlos Santo, CEO of tSd commented: “This merger brings together two visionary companies dedicated to pushing the boundaries of possibilities through technology and poised to unlock new opportunities and expand our product offerings.

“This marks the beginning of an exciting journey. Together, we will continue to innovate, adapt, and thrive in an ever-evolving landscape, delivering unmatched data solutions and experiences to our customers and stakeholders in the racing and wagering industries.”

Sebastian Scholz, CTO of tSd commented: “We are thrilled about this landmark merger and eagerly anticipate the incorporation of the two development teams from Total Performance Data and tripleSdata.

“This merger is not just a joining of forces; it’s a catalyst for ground-breaking product development.  We are poised for significant growth, aiming to expand our teams in the realms of artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud-based applications, equine welfare, sensor fusion, computer vision, in-play betting, and graphics applications.”

TPD Chairman, Eamonn Wilmott, commented: “In over 40 years of doing M&A deals, I have to say this was one of the most obvious fits I’ve ever seen.

“Carlos and Sebastian have built an amazing company, and we are delighted to join forces together. They care passionately about the future of racing, and we will all work together to help drive maximum revenues back into the sport. From the very first conversations through negotiations and due diligence they have been an absolute pleasure to work with and we are all extremely excited about the future we can now build together.”


SportChamps Fined Again for Flouting Gambling Ad Laws

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Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade

Online betting operator SportChamps has been fined $17,500 for inducing people to gamble and open a betting account following five previous convictions for similar offences.

SportChamps pled guilty in Downing Centre Local Court to two offences under the Betting and Racing Act following a Liquor & Gaming NSW investigation into advertisements on its website and Facebook pages that stated ‘Punt for free. Learn the game!’ and ‘Receive a free bet each day’.

In New South Wales, it is an offence to publish or offer inducements to open a betting account. Liquor & Gaming NSW Executive Director Regulatory Operations, Jane Lin, said it was unacceptable that SportChamps continued to offend.

“SportChamps has five previous convictions for gambling advertising offences from 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021,” Lin said. “It’s extremely concerning that this operator has amassed multiple convictions for breaching laws that are in place to protect people from gambling harm.”

For these latest offences, the company tried to attract a new customer base and increase its market share with no regard for the state’s gambling laws. Once an account was created, access was provided to the SportChamps Tournament Betting Lobby webpage, which included access to free and paid gaming tournaments. A deposit icon took users to a page where they were asked to insert credit card details and the deposit amount or they could make direct EFT deposits to SportChamps.

“Wagering operators can legally advertise their products in a variety of ways but they can’t advertise or promote inducements such as offers of increased odds or bonus bets to entice people to open a betting account,” Lin said. “Offences like these have the potential to undermine the entire regulatory framework, which is why we take a zero-tolerance approach to this type of advertising. New South Wales bans the advertisement of any offer of an inducement to participate in a gambling activity including an inducement to bet more frequently.”

It is also prohibited to offer any inducements to open betting accounts, refer friends to open betting accounts, keep a betting account open or consent to receive gambling advertising. A maximum penalty off $110,000 applies to any corporation and $11,000 for individuals who publish prohibited gambling advertising.


ACMA Reveals Breach of In-play Betting Rules by Top Wagering Companies

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found the operators of Ladbrokes, Neds, bet365 and Sportsbet to have breached interactive gambling rules.

The operators were said to have used “Fast/Quick Codes” which allow in-play betting on sporting events; under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 this is not allowed, except under certain circumstances, such as placing the bet over the phone.

Fast/Quick Codes are provided to customers by operators when they use their website or app to build an in-play bet. This Fast/Quick code can be quoted by the customer when they place their bet over the phone along with how much the bet amount is.

In this particular case, the ACMA found that Entain, Hillside and Flutter-owned Sportsbet individually generated Fast/Quick Codes for each particular in-play bet, but that this was done via either the operator’s website or app, not via phone.

Following the investigations, the ACMA has decided for the time being not to take further enforcement action against the operators in question. Indeed, steps have since been taken to ensure their Fast/Quick Codes comply with interactive gambling rules, including being generated before events, meaning they will be generic for all customers.


ACMA Blocks More Illegal Offshore Gambling and Affiliate Marketing Websites

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The ACMA has requested that Australian internet service providers (ISPs) block more illegal offshore gambling and affiliate marketing websites, after investigations found 11 services to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

The latest sites blocked include Greenspin, Slotman, Jeetcity, Betibet, Candyland Casino, New Vegas, Thunderpick, Golden Lion, Digits 7, Sector 777 and PayID Pokies.

Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal online gambling. Since the ACMA made its first blocking request in November 2019, 893 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked.

220 illegal services have also pulled out of the Australian market since the ACMA started enforcing new illegal offshore gambling rules in 2017.


Crown Resorts Introduces Carded Play Measures at Crown Melbourne

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Crown Resorts has completed the successful introduction of world-first carded play measures at its Melbourne Casino, accompanied by a comprehensive suite of enhanced safety measures to create a safer, more enjoyable gaming environment.

The implementation of carded play on all Electronic Gaming Machines at Crown Melbourne represents a significant investment in gambling harm prevention at Crown, signalling a new era of transparency and commitment that has not been seen in the gaming and entertainment industry before.

Supported by the Victorian Government’s YourPlay scheme, the new carded play technology has been rolled out over the last month and is now fully operational at Crown Melbourne.

All guests who use an electronic gaming machine at Crown Melbourne will be required to obtain a valid Crown Player Card, which can be used to help to track and monitor play, ensuring that guests are better able to manage their gambling activity.

Key features of carded play include:

  • Time and Spend Limits: Guests will be required to set personal time and spending limits, helping them to stay on track.
  • Track and Monitor Play: Guests will be able to track their play and access Player Activity Statements to monitor their spend.
  • Player Safety Checks: The card provides actionable insights into player behaviour, allowing Crown’s PlaySafe team to identify and undertake safety checks with those who may be engaged in prolonged or unsafe gambling.
  • Access to Support: Once activated, the card will provide quick and easy access to information and resources for safer gambling, including contact information for support organisations.

Crown Resorts CEO Ciarán Carruthers said: “Crown’s ambition is to operate the safest casinos in the world, and we are proud to pioneer this transformative and world-first shift with the introduction of carded play at Crown Melbourne.

“The implementation of carded play begins a new era of transparency and commitment, helping to reshape the gambling landscape and ensure our guests are better able to manage and play within their personal limits.

“Carded play will help to foster a safer, more enjoyable experience for all and revolutionise the way our guests engage with gambling and entertainment.”

Crown Melbourne CEO Mike Volkert said: “Crown Melbourne is committed to providing an environment where our guests can enjoy themselves and have confidence in the support and safeguards available to them.

“Through our collaboration with the Victorian Government and our Crown PlaySafe program, carded play provides a roadmap for our industry, and is a significant step forward in realising our shared vision.

“The changes are part of a number of world-leading reforms being implemented across Crown, and we look forward to the positive impact carded play will have on our guests and the broader community.”