VENUES BUSTED FOR INTOX AND MINOR GAMING

In Regulations by Clyde Mooney

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Regulators have kick-started the financial year with decisions against two licensed venues, over allowing intoxication, and a minor operating a gaming machine.

The NSW District Court last week heard an appeal from the licensee of Bathurst’s Elephant & Castle Hotel against a conviction for multiple offences.

A visit by Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors in late 2017 found several intoxicated women at a ‘Ladies takeover’ charity function, featuring topless male waiters.

One woman who was seated was unable to hold her head up, while another repeatedly fell over.

A third woman was riding on the back of one of the topless male waiters.

Furthermore, one of the waiters was found to not have a valid Responsible Service of Alcohol competency card.

Earlier this year in Bathurst Local Court, Gibson was fined $2,500 for permitting intoxication, and given a 12-month conditional release order for allowing a staff member to serve alcohol without an RSA card.

Gibson’s written submission last week offered mitigating factors, but these were deemed irrelevant.

Judge Helen Syme dismissed the appeal, citing the “lack of diligence by bar staff” seen in circumstances such as a woman jumping on the back of a topless waiter. 

Judge Syme also noted the situation was not assisted by Gibson having remained upstairs throughout the entire incident.

Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance Operations Sean Goodchild says licensees allowing intoxication put patrons and others at risk.

“Hotels have a responsibility to serve alcohol responsibly and to manage staff to ensure the responsible service of alcohol is practised.”

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Mounties – one of the largest gaming clubs in the country – has been convicted and ordered to pay almost $6,000 in fines and costs for allowing a toddler to use a gaming machine.

Mount Pritchard & District Community Club (Mounties) is a large-format RSL in western Sydney, in Fairfield LGA.

An investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW seized CCTV footage (below) that showed a boy, who appears under five years’ old, was in the gaming room for 1 minute and 48 seconds.

The boy was lifted onto a stool in front of a gaming machine by a man, who stands behind him as the child presses buttons. No money had been inserted.

When two staff members enter the room, the man lifts the boy down.

The staff only became aware of the boy’s presence when he ran past them. The man then left the club with the boy.

The club defended the charges at a hearing on 4 June, pleading not guilty to the offence.  

But this month in Downing Centre Local Court Magistrate Sharon Freund found the club guilty of breaching NSW laws, banning minors from remaining in gaming areas, ordering Mounties to pay almost $6,000 in fines and costs.

L&G director Sean Goodchild described the offence as a serious breach.

“All venues with gaming machines have a clear responsibility to supervise and monitor gaming machine areas to ensure minors do not enter and remain in gaming machine areas at any time.”