An Australian casino was fined AUD 90,000 ($63,712) after regulators discovered that three minors were allowed to access the gaming floor, and in some cases were able to gamble.
According to News.com.au and CNN, the New South Wales regulatory body, Liquor & Gaming NSW has levied the fine on Star Casino. To enter the gaming floor guests must be at least 18.
In one case, a vacationing Chinese family found a way to get their 12-year-old daughter onto the gaming floor. The mother reportedly held open an escape door, which helped her avoid detecting security. Eventually they met with their father.
During the 17-minute span they were on the floor the girl made more than 20 bets on video poker games. They were observed only by security when they tried to leave.
In a statement Philip Crawford, NSW Independent Liquor & Authority Chair, said: “It’s quite staggering that the young girl’s parents facilitated her entry in such a deceptive manner, let alone allowed their daughter to gamble.”
In another case, a 16-year-old girl entered a VIP entrance into The Star. She was accompanied by an older male client who had the rank of a loyalty member. At that point, no-one asked the girl for identification.
At a restaurant, she had bought a Red Bull and vodka. But as she tried to reach a nightclub inside the casino, her luck was running out as she was eventually asked to show her identification. Club security at that time noticed “the dissimilarity” between herself and photo identification.
A 17-year-old boy remained for more than three hours on the gaming floor during the final incident. Surveillance video shows that the teen has had at least 15 encounters with workers on the casino floor.
Although on the stage, the video reveals that he managed to play more than 40 rounds of roulette, more than 20 poker hands and enjoy an adult drink.
The events took place last year and were among more than 30 times in 2019 where a minor was able to make his way to the gaming floor. That was down from 35 the previous year.
Crawford said he appreciated the cooperation of the Star who had self-reported the violations. “The penalty indicates that every breach requires a regulatory response befitting the risk of harm to young people and the community,” he said.
The Star is Australia’s second-largest casino, behind only Melbourne ‘s Crown Casino. It’s owned by Star Entertainment Group, a publicly traded, gaming corporation headquartered in Australia.
The 25-year-old posh resort features two gaming areas, fifteen bars and restaurants, plus over 350 hotel rooms.
The Star is currently open, but at a limited capacity, as with casinos in the US. The main casino floor is divided into three sections, each with a capacity of 300 people. Even visitors can access only one zone a day.