NSW Fines Club A$200,000 Over Responsible Gaming Lapse

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.

About the author

Kingston Li // Asia Correspondent
Kingston Li
Kingston is a big fan of Baccarat and Texas Hold'em Poker and has tested his skills in tournaments around Asia and the world. He covers the latest gambling news from Asia for Casino Listings. In his spare time, Kingston enjoys hiking, video gaming, and playing disc golf.
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20 July 2020 - 5:07pm

Man, that's unfortunate. I'm surprised they were able to keep their license despite the neglect they displayed.

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21 July 2020 - 1:49am

RSLs and other groups that hold gaming licenses have a LOT of political clout in Australia. It's unlikely that they would ever revoke their license.

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21 July 2020 - 4:52am

Indeed they are one of the significant supporters of the crackdown against online casinos, for obvious reasons.

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21 July 2020 - 11:37am

So the RSL military veterans club was fined $200,000 after exploiting a vulnerable patron for $230,000. They profited $30,000 from his death. Sickening.

A tragic and unnecessary loss.

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Matthew's picture
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26 September 2020 - 6:48am

For anyone interested the ABC published an update (2:00) on this story today.


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