The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has completed a three-year investigation into Tabcorp, issuing the firm a fine of AUS$1m (€6m).
Tabcorp, the largest gaming company in Australia and one of the market leaders in sports betting via its TAB brand, was charged with failing to comply with VGCCC directives to provide information during an outage.
The ASX-listed operator experienced a ‘major system outage’ on 7 November 2020 during the Spring Racing Carnival, which saw its Wagering and Betting System (WBS) become unavailable for around 36 hours.
“We will not tolerate licensees that are not forthcoming and cooperative when the Commission investigates,” said VGCCC Chair, Fran Thorn.
“The Commission had to use its compulsory powers and issue directions because Tabcorp did not provide the information we required about the business continuity and disaster recovery capability of its systems. It is Tabcorp’s failure to comply with these directions that has led to the fine announced today.”
Under Victoria’s Wagering and Betting Licence and Agreement, an operator’s WBS needs to be continuously available. Due to the outage, the VGCCC’s predecessor, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, initiated an investigation.
The VGCCC accused Tacorp of failing to provide ‘adequate information’ about the outage to both it and its predecessor. The regulator stated that the operator’s conduct during the investigation impacted its ability to understand the WBS failures’ cause and whether or not it would recur.
Tabcorp did not confirm with the VGCC that the business continuity and disaster recovery arrangements in place to support WBS were ‘fit for the purpose’ in line with the performance requirement. In addition, the company submitted its compliance report on the outage four months after the deadline.
The $1m fine is the largest in the history of Victoria, and comes shortly after the publication of Tabcorp’s 2022/23 financial results revealed revenue of AUS $2.43bn (€1.45bn) for the 12 month trading period.
Tabcorp is not the only company to find itself under the scope of the VGCCC, as smaller operator BlueBet faces potential financial charges for breaching state advertising rules.
Thorn continued: “All entities we regulate — no matter how big or small — have an obligation to be open and honest with the Commission and responsive to its lawfully issued directions. We will not tolerate attempts to frustrate our investigations.”