Tower Hotel in Melbourne, Australia Ordered to Shut Down Gaming Machines

Posted on: September 15, 2023, 07:36h. 

Last updated on: September 17, 2023, 12:04h.

The Tower Hotel in Hawthorn East, a suburb of Victoria, Australia, has come under scrutiny for its failure to comply with gambling regulations. As a result, the hotel must temporarily deactivate its gaming machines.

The Tower Hotel
Gaming machines are temporarily turned off at the Tower Hotel in Melbourne.

Rumotel Pty, the operator of The Tower, is currently facing legal consequences for multiple violations. The Victorian Gaming and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has taken action against the company under the Gaming Regulation Act 2003, ordering it to implement corrective measures.

The key issue prompting this action is The Tower’s alleged non-compliance with the requirement to offer the YourPlay pre-engagement solution. This technology allows players to monitor their gaming activity and time spent, both within a single session and over time.

The VGCCC claims Rumotel failed to install YourPlay on all of The Tower’s electronic gaming machines (EGMs), as mandated by the VGCCC. They further claim that the accompanying YourPlay kiosk at The Tower was not operational.

Rumotel has been ordered to rectify the violations immediately

Additional Fines & Charges

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VGCCR) recently charged Rumotel with 35 failures and ordered the shutdown of its gaming machines until full compliance is demonstrated. Of the 35 charges, 34 are related to the absence of required technology.

An additional charge was issued because Tower Hotel employees did not receive mandatory training on YourPlay, a service offered by IGT that allows players to set limits on their gambling activities. Use of YourPlay is voluntary and free, but all electronic gaming machines (EGMs) in Victoria must include the technology.

Tower faced fines of up to AUD 758,172 (US$489,621). Previously, the VGCCC fined gaming company Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group, AUD550,000 (US$352,000) for similar failures.

Proposed Legislation

The federal government is also proposing legislation to ban credit cards and digital currency for online gambling. Violating this ban could result in fines of up to AUD 150,470 (US $234,750). This legislation will also establish a six-month grace period to allow companies and consumers to adjust their betting methods.

This comprehensive initiative to tackle problem gambling includes monthly reports on successes and failures and the introduction of BetStop. This nationwide registration system allows individuals to voluntarily exclude themselves from Australian gambling platforms.