ALH facing disciplinary complaints for alleged gaming malpractices

19 June, 2019 by Craig Hawtin-Butcher

Two ALH venues are facing a disciplinary complaint by the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA).

The revelations come after Liquor & Gaming NSW confirmed “a comprehensive investigation” had taken place into 50 ALH venues in NSW, with detailed investigations into four hotels.

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The core allegation is that two ALH-run hotels on the NSW North Coast illegally gave free alcohol to gaming machine players to keep them gambling.

The two venues have been named by Liquor & Gaming NSW as the Westower Tavern at West Ballina and South Tweed Tavern at South Tweed Heads.

In these two cases, Liquor & Gaming NSW confirmed sufficient evidence was obtained and disciplinary complaints have been lodged.

In the other two cases, which involved two unnamed Sydney metropolitan hotels, there was insufficient evidence to proceed to a formal complaint.

The investigation included covert surveillance, coercive interviews of licensees, staff and other witnesses, review of CCTV, and examination of records and systems.

The complaint lodged with ILGA alleges that the practice of supplying gaming patrons free alcohol was systemic at both North Coast hotels.

Under NSW gaming laws, it is illegal to offer or supply free or discounted alcohol to induce gambling.

Liquor & Gaming NSW confirmed that for hotels that breach gaming laws, penalties include formal reprimands, fines up to $110,000 and suspension or cancellation of licences.

Liquor & Gaming NSW would not be drawn to comment further, with a spokesperson saying “It is not appropriate to make any further comment until ILGA has considered the complaint.”

ALH were unavailable for comment when contacted by Australian Hotelier.

Contact Gambling Help NSW on 1800 858 858.