Melbourne Pub Fined over 16-Year-Old Gambling at the Venue

The 16-year-old boy, whose name has not been released to the media, placed the wagers between May and September 2022, The Guardian originally reported.

Teenager Spent Only a Few Minutes Wagering at a Time

A comment provided by the Preston Hotel legal representative, Ben Niall, explained that the teenager had only spent a few minutes betting before leaving the venue each time, and the total, $2,500 was indeed a small amount of what the boy had spent in other venues.

According to the publication, the teenager had been struggling with gambling addiction and had raked up to $95,000 of gambling debt. The boy is said to have gambled at least $100,000 at various venues across Australia.

The boy’s mother discovered her son’s add lodi291 iction in April 2022 and had since sought help, but she kept hitting a dead end as most organizations – some 30 contacted in total – not be able to intervene and advised the mother to not allow her son access to money.

The mother had re-mortgaged her home and taken on extra work to cover the gambling debts. In the meantime, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission has looked into the venues that supposedly allowed the teenager to spend money there, despite his addiction and not being of the appropriate gambling age.

Niall told the court that his client did not want to see children gambling and stated that the venue wanted to operate as a legitimate business and not prey on vulnerable individuals, let alone teenagers.

Although true, the onus is always on the venue and provider of gambling products to ensure that people who are not of the legal gambling age or suffer from gambling addiction, are unable to access their products, as confirmed by Magistrate Carolyn Howe.

Venues Need to Beef Up Their Screening of Who They Let Gamble

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The case has made it all the way through to a Melbourne court where the details bout the case came to light. Problem and underage gambling is a serious issue in Australia, with the country undertaking a slew of measures designed to overhaul the industry and create a safer gambling framework for all.

The country has just introduced a credit card ban for online gambling, which will be coming into effect over the next six months (counting from royal ascent onwards).

Recently, eight venues and Tabcorp have been named by the VGCCC, but it’s not yet entirely clear if that statement has to do specifically with the story of the 16-year-old gambler, as revealed by the court.