Wagering giant Tabcorp has pleaded guilty to 43 charges of failing to prevent a minor from gambling and will pay $370,417 in fines and costs from the case.

Tabcorp has been fined for allowing a minor to gamble in venue. Photo is of a generic TAB venue, not one involved in this specific case. (Photo: Realestate.com.au)

Charges were brought against Tabcorp by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) after a minor gambled on multiple occasions between May 2022 to October 2023.

The minor, who was 17 when the final offences occurred, visited 13 different venues across northern Melbourne in a 17-month period, utilising Electronic Betting Terminals (EBTs).

The case led to the VGCCC demanding that Tabcorp introduce greater supervision of their EBTs in venue, and a switch to voucher-based betting over cash.

The Melbourne Magistrates’ Court has ordered Tabcorp to pay a fine as well as costs totalling $370,417. The maximum fine for the offences was $700,000.

No conviction was recorded.

“The breaches committed by Tabcorp are incredibly serious, reflecting a fundamental failure to protect minors from the risks associated with gambling, as well as a lack of vigilance on their part,” VGCCC CEO, Annette Kimmitt, said.

“These failures undermine the integrity and safety of the industry."

Kimmitt said wagering companies and their staff were responsible for ensuring that people under 18 didn’t gamble.

"Gambling providers and their staff are on the frontline of our efforts to prevent underage gambling," she said.

“It is their duty to rigorously check IDs and supervise gambling activities to ensure minors are not able to access these services. Their vigilance is crucial in safeguarding young people from the harms of gambling."

“It is imperative that all stakeholders in the gambling industry understand the gravity of this issue and take their responsibilities seriously to prevent such harm."

"The VGCCC is committed to protecting the community and ensuring that all gambling operations adhere to the highest standards of conduct.” 

In-venue cash betting facing ban in Victoria
Tabcorp has been ordered by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission to stop taking cash payments on unsupervised in-venue betting machines.

Tabcorp issued a statement saying it accepted the Court's determination.

"Tabcorp accepts the decision of the Melbourne Magistrates Court and notes the magistrate’s comments that Tabcorp has taken “considerable remedial steps to deter minors from gambling at its venues"," the statement said.

"Investing in and continuing to evolve our Safer Gambling measures, including preventing minors from gambling, is an absolute priority for the Board and Executive Team."

"We will continue to work collaboratively with the VGCCC to support the important work they do to keep the community safe."