This week it was revealed that the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority fined a military veterans club A$200,000 for violating responsible gaming rules in the Australian state, actions which led to a punter's suicide.
The Dee Why branch of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) was found to have breached regulatory measures, effectively encouraging the misuse and abuse of gambling. These actions led to the suicide of Gary Van Duinen in May 2018 after he lost $230,000 over 170 visits. During that time, Van Duinen gambled in excess of $3.7 million, and the club was found to have neglected intervention despite there being information that pointed to him having a gambling problem.
Commenting on the decision to lay down the fine ILGA Chairman Philip Crawford said, "Mr Van Duinen died in tragic circumstances. His heavy gambling occurred at a club that was giving him special treatment while failing to recognise his problem, despite having extensive data to do so.
"It was the club's selection of Mr Van Duinen as a 'top 100' gaming machine player, targeted exclusively to receive special 'high roller' benefits like harbour cruises and race day events, that was found likely to encourage the misuse and abuse of gambling," Crawford added.
"This contravened both gaming machines and registered clubs' legislation."
This fine is the record for largest action taken by the regulator, beating out the $172,000 fine doled out to two Woolworths hotels last week. While the amount to be paid is hefty, the club is retaining their gambling license, and is expected to employ a person that will look out for potentially harmful gambling behaviour.