Just a month after Tabcorp secured the retail Victorian wagering licence for another 20 years, the company has been ordered by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission to stop taking cash payments on unsupervised in-venue betting machines.

The commission confirmed it had made a directive that all machines which are not directly supervised by a staff members must cease taking cash payments by the end of January.

Those who wish to use the machine would now need to obtain a voucher from a staff member who could check their identification.

The issue was bought to a head with Guardian Australia reporting that a 16-year-old boy accrued debts of $100,000, with Victoria’s gaming regulator confirming that he had accessed unsupervised in-venue machines on at least 30 occasions.

While that matter is at the centre of court proceedings, the VGCCC has acted to prevent unfettered cash access to the machines, with cash access set to be switched off to at least 70 per cent of machines in the state.

“It is inexcusable to accept a bet from a minor and tougher actions are required to protect the community, especially children, from gambling harm,” VGCCC chief executive, Annette Kimmitt, said.

“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,” she said.

Kimmitt said Tabcorp was working with the Commission the comply with the directive.

The VGCCC confirmed Tabcorp faces a total of 72 charges of allowing a minor to gamble and failing to reasonably supervise its Electronic Betting Terminals.  

If found guilty, the operators face a maximum collective fine of more than one million dollars, while Tabcorp could face a maximum fine of $969,236.40

Tabcorp’s long exclusive agreement with run retail and totalisator wagering in Victoria was extended late last year in a deal worth $600 million up front to the Victorian government and $30 million a year ongoing.

Tabcorp to pay $864 million to extend Victorian wagering licence until 2044
Tabcorp have won the exclusive rights to the Victorian wagering licence for the next 20 years despite stiff competition from the corporate bookmaking sector.

The Victorian government hasn’t confirmed how the money will be split up, or what distribution the Victorian racing industry will receive from the new deal, which ends the joint venture between them and Tabcorp from July this year.

The Victorian thoroughbred industry received $130 million from the Tabcorp joint venture in 2022/23.