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Victoria regulator fines MintBet for breaching responsible gambling rules

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The Victoria Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has issued MintBet with a fine of AU$150,000 (£77,222/€90,745/US$97,720) for repeated breaches of responsible gambling rules in the Australian state.

Victoria-licensed MintBet was found to have violated measures related to extended periods of gambling by a customer.

The player in question gambled through their MintBet online account for 35 hours over a period of approximately 50 hours. During this time, the player placed 327 bets and lost a total of $31,149.

Ruling on the case, the VGCCC said MintBet did not stop accepting bets despite the player showing signs of distress related to problem gambling. Such action is required of all Victoria licensees under the state’s Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct. 

The VGCCC added that MintBet only closed the customer’s account when the user actively identified they were experiencing gambling harm.  

While the regulator said MintBet had some systems in place to ensure vulnerable individuals do not experience a loss of control from their gambling, they were inadequate. This, it said, also breached the code.  

MintBet ordered to take action

As such, MintBet was fined and ordered to inform the VGCCC of the improvements it will be making to its systems and processes. The regulator said it will consider this response and determine whether further action may be necessary.    

“Victoria gambling providers must comply with their responsible gambling codes of conduct,” VGCCC deputy CEO Scott May said. “They exist to protect people from gambling harm. 

“Even if accepting bets online, providers must monitor for and intervene when customers are displaying indicators of distress. Gambling for an extended period is a key indicator of distress that may indicate problem gambling. 

“There are serious consequences for any gambling provider that fails to comply with their own responsible gambling code of conduct. We won’t tolerate it.”

Crown retains Victoria licence

The ruling comes after the VGCCC last week reached a major decision on Crown Resorts’ future in Victoria. Crown was deemed suitable to hold a licence and therefore continue operating its Melbourne property.

According to the VGCCC, it is in the “public interest” that Crown retains the licence. Crown Melbourne is the largest single-site employer in Victoria. 

The decision followed major changes at the casino in the wake of the Royal Commission into casino licences. The Commission was scathing in its criticism of what it deemed “illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative” behaviour.

Having taken into account Crown’s efforts, with the operator saying it spent over AU$200.0m on its transformation, the operator will hold on to its licence.

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