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Australian betting operator Tabcorp has been fined A$1m by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC).

The fine was issued due to Tabcorp’s failure to comply with two directions issued by the regulator during an investigation into the business.

The investigation related to a major outage of Tabcorp’s wagering and betting system (WBS), which was unavailable for a period of around 36 hours during the 2020 Spring Racing Carnival.

The size of the fine, which the regulator pointed out was the largest it had ever issued to Tabcorp, reflected the operator’s repeated failure to comply with orders to provide information about the outage.

Failure to comply

Tabcorp was issued with a first written direction in July 2021, by the VGCCC’s predecessor, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.

The direction ordered the operator “to procure the conduct of an independent expert assessment of the suitability of Tabcorp’s business continuity and disaster recovery infrastructure and processes for the wagering and betting system.”

The operator then provided a report prepared by Deloitte which it claimed complied with the direction, but which the regulator did not accept as it was considered to be incomplete.

In December 2021, the regulator issued a second direction to Tabcorp, ordering it again “to procure an independent due diligence assessment of the Disaster Recovery (DR) capabilities associated with the Wagering and Betting System operated by Tabcorp.”

It offered an extended deadline of May 2022 for Tabcorp to provide the assessment, but the report was not submitted until several months later on 27 September 2022.

Tabcorp was therefore deemed to have failed to comply with both directions issued by the regulator, which is the main reason behind the issuance of a A$1m fine.

Regulator warning

“We will not tolerate licensees that are not forthcoming and cooperative when the Commission investigates,” said VGCCC chair Fran Thorn (pictured).

“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. 

“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.”

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