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Australian commission fines Tabcorp $1 million

5 September 2023

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has fined Tabcorp Wagering (VIC) Pty Ltd $1 million for not complying with two Commission directions issued during its investigation of Tabcorp’s major system outage in the 2020 Spring Racing Carnival.

The scale of the fine, the largest ever imposed by the Commission on Tabcorp, reflects Tabcorp’s repeated failure to comply with Commission directions to provide information concerning the outage, which left Tabcorp’s Wagering and Betting System (WBS) unavailable for approximately 36 hours.

Commission Chair Fran Thorn said Tabcorp’s conduct was unacceptable.

“We will not tolerate licensees that are not forthcoming and cooperative when the Commission investigates,” said 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.

“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.”

On Saturday, 7 November 2020, Tabcorp’s WBS suffered a major outage. There is an obligation under the Wagering and Betting License and Agreement for the WBS to be continuously available. As a result, the VGCCC’s predecessor – the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation – commenced investigating the outage.

The directions were issued after Tabcorp failed to voluntarily provide adequate information about the outage to the regulator. Tabcorp’s conduct during its dealings with the VGCCC over the course of the investigation and in response to the directions impacted the Commission’s ability to understand the cause of the major outage and gain confidence that it would not recur.

The Commission found Tabcorp did not comply with the first direction because it failed to produce a response that — in either form or substance — confirmed the WBS business continuity and disaster recovery arrangements established after the outage were ‘fit for purpose’ to deliver the ‘continuously available’ performance requirement. Tabcorp was found to have failed to comply with the second direction by submitting a compliant report four months after the deadline.

The maximum penalty for contravening Commission directions is $9,087,000.

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