Well-known hotel broker Nick Tinning has been given a slap on the wrist for illegally storing old pokies in his basement.
Principal of leading regional broker Chris Tinning & Co, Nick has worked at the family company for many years, as well as operating pubs himself.
A lease that ended several years ago required him to remove all plant and equipment, including the gaming machines. A purchaser for the machines failed to collect them and they have stayed in Tinning’s basement since. None were in working condition.
In May last year, Liquor & Gaming inspectors joined NSW police and “visited Mr Tinning’s residential property” outside Wagga Wagga, following a tip-off from a former relation, where they found the machines and some associated parts.
Last Wednesday (19 April) Tinning pleaded guilty to illegal possession of poker machines at Wagga Wagga Local Court. He received a conviction for the offense, and was fined $7,500.
PubTIC spoke to the pub and brokerage veteran, who declined to comment.
The Gaming Machines Act 2001 dictates penalties including fines and even imprisonment for the offense. Sean Goodchild, Liquor & Gaming director of Compliance Operations, says the issue can “threaten the integrity of the gaming industry and lead to a lack of public confidence” in controls by the regulator.
“It is against the law to be in possession of a gaming machine in NSW unless properly authorised, with maximum potential penalties of up to $11,000 and or 12 months’ imprisonment.”