NSW issues fines over gaming machine rebirthing racket

20 January 2020

The New South Wales (NSW) Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has issued bans and fines to two gaming machine industry licence-holders for their roles in a gaming machine rebirthing racket in the Australian state.

Gaming machine technician Riad Allam and gaming machine seller Justin Layden were ordered to pay combined fines and legal costs amounting to AUD$100,000 (£52,825/€61,908/US$68,620).

Allam was also handed a three-year ban from the gaming industry and ordered to pay Aus$66,000 for his part in the operation, while Layden was issued with a one-year ban and ordered to pay fines and costs of $34,000.

According to the Liquor and Gaming NSW, both men were involved with a illegal enterprise that was found to be selling, purchasing and consigning gaming machines without the required authorisations. The machines in question had been scheduled for destruction at a recycling facility, but were instead in the process of being rebirthed for sale to licensed venues.

As part of its investigations, Liquor & Gaming NSW seized 43 retired gaming machines from a warehouse at Chipping Norton and a licensed venue on Sydney’s North Shore.

Liquor & Gaming NSW’s director of compliance operations, Sean Goodchild, said: “Gaming machines in NSW are tightly regulated and strict rules apply to sellers, dealers and technicians. The unlawful conduct in this case undermines the integrity of the industry and increases the risk of gaming machines falling into the wrong hands.”

According to NSW law, it is illegal to be in possession of a gaming machine in the state unless properly authorised, with maximum potential penalties of up to $11,000 or 12 months jail.

Late last year, the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling set out details of a new funding opportunity for PhD scholarships, post-doctoral fellowships and study grants to build capability and capacity in gambling research.

Using money from the Australian state's Responsible Gambling Fund, the grants will be used to help improve the quality, diversity and impact of gambling research in communities across Australia.