Australia: VGCCC fines Tabcorp A$1 million for failing to comply with outage probe

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Tabcorp, one of the largest gambling companies in Australia, has been fined A$1 million (US$646,000) by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) for failing to comply with the investigation into a major system outage which occurred in 2020.

The penalty is not the largest ever imposed by the VGCCC. However, it is the largest that Tabcorp has been fined by it. As per the state gaming regulator, the investigation was concerned with a major system outage during the 2020 Spring Racing Carnival in which Tabcorp’s Wagering and Betting System was unavailable for around 36 hours.

Tabcorp had time and again failed to comply with VGCCC’s directions to provide information on the probe which resulted in the aforementioned fine.

“All entities we regulate, no matter how big or small, have an obligation to be open and honest with the commission and responsive to its lawfully issued directions,” said Fran Thorn, Commission Chair in a statement as quoted by Inside Asian Gaming.

The investigation was initially started by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, who had also issued directions to Tabcorp which the latter failed to comply with, resulting in VGCCC’s inability to fully understand the cause of the outage.

“We will not tolerate attempts to frustrate our investigations,” Thorn added.

Tabcorp did respond, but only after a four-month delay, hindering the investigation. As per Tabcorp’s reasoning, a fire breaking out in a third-party supplier was the reason for the outage. Nevertheless, the betting giant accepted the A$1 million fine.

In recent months, VGCCC has been working on ensuring all compliance and safety standards are met in the gambling and betting market. Most recently, the commission banned sports betting on competitions composed of players under the age of 19.

Furthermore, the Australian parliamentary committee inquiry on online gambling recently also recommended implementing a complete ban on betting advertisements over the next three years, calling it the only way to permanently avoid gambling-induced serious harm.

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