The start of September will see the implementation of some significant changes to gambling laws in the Australian state of Victoria.
Posting on its website, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has notified those that will be especially affected – gaming venue operators, major licensees and community/charitable organisations – of the revisions it has made under the Gambling and Liquor Legislation Amendment Act 2022.
For a start, there will be a higher penalty offence for agents of the wagering and betting licensee that allow a minor to gamble. These agents will be subject to the higher penalty offence of 120 units under section 10.7.3(1) of the Gambling Regulation Act 2003, rather than 20 units under section 10.7.3(2).
Secondly, interactive games will no longer be regulated under the Gambling Regulation Act 2003, meaning people cannot apply for an interactive gaming licence.
Other significant changes include new offences for conducting bingo, fundraising events and lucky envelopes online, 24 hour clearance of electronic gaming machines (EGM) winnings of $2,000 or more paid via electronic funds transfer, and casino operators being allowed to pay out EGM winnings via EFT in the same circumstances as venue operators.
Additionally, major licensees must now wait 12 months to pay unclaimed prizes to the Treasurer – people will have 12 months to make a claim for winnings from these licensees, after which they will have to apply to the State Revenue Officer.
The threshold for a minor gaming permit when conducting a raffle has also changed. Previously, a permit was required when the prize was above $5,000, but that has now been raised to $20,000.
Meanwhile, in June, Victoria was urged by Tabcorp to ‘level the playing field’ by raising online operator taxes.