A southern Sydney licensee has been fined after pleading guilty to a breach of the gaming regulations around exits.

Liquor & Gaming inspectors conducted compliance checks at the Mortdale Hotel in August 2023. They found the main bar’s exit door was locked and the only way for patrons to leave the hotel was through the gaming room.

The NSW Gaming Machines Act 2001 requires that patrons must not be compelled to pass through a gaming room, and the department launched an investigation.

Licensee Paul Whitehead appeared before Downing Centre Local Court, where he pleaded guilty to the breach. He was ordered to pay a total of $2,250 for the offence.

Liquor & Gaming NSW executive director regulatory operations, Jane Lin, described it as a serious breach.

“These restrictions are in place to reduce the risks of gambling harm. Apart from breaking the law, the licensee put patrons at potential risk of harm by compelling them to walk through the gaming room to leave the venue.

“As this case shows, licensees who fail to abide by gaming machine regulations can expect to be caught and prosecuted.”

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