Parramatta’s Rose and Crown Hotel has been fined for offering patrons inducements to gamble after a disgruntled general manager reported the pub, sparking a prosecution in which she herself was convicted of stealing $15,000.
Between 2017 and 2018, staff at the Rose and Crown allowed at least $145,000 in credit and debit withdrawals from the bar’s eftpos machine, loaned money from the safe to gamblers, and provided free alcohol and cigarettes to keep people playing the pokies.
Manipulating the poker machine payout system
The hotel’s general manager, Samantha Glynn, was also manipulating the poker machine payout system by changing the values on leftover credit tickets and creating fake tickets, allegedly stealing up to $400,000.
When Ms Glynn was discovered and suspended from her duties, she reported the hotel to Liquor & Gaming NSW. The subsequent investigation revealed a host of breaches and resulted in the matter being referred to both the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority and NSW Police.
Breach of its licence for ATM positioning
The Rose and Crown was also in breach of its licence for positioning an ATM in the gaming room; not making contact cards available to players; having gambling-related signage and gaming machines visible from outside the hotel; and supplying alcohol and operating gaming machines outside of stipulated trading hours on Good Friday.
Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority Chair, Phil Crawford, said the hotel lacked oversight and controls by those tasked with these responsibilities. ‘Staff used phantom transactions to mask cash withdrawals for gambling, but even more incredibly, they gave out loans from the safe,’ said Mr Crawford.
Lending money to gamblers
‘At one point a manager loaned a total of $8,000 from the pub’s safe, to a patron who wanted to keep playing the pokies. A security guard also used the safe to loan $800 to another gambler.
‘The hotel was essentially facilitating cash advances for gambling via a system of fake transactions and this is an obvious risk for problem gambling.’
NSW Police charged Ms Glynn with theft totalling $15,000 and she was sentenced to an 18-month intensive correction order.
The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority fined the Hotel’s licensee, a company called RC One Pty Ltd $107,358. Approved manager Paul Camkin was fined $10,000 and disqualified for 12 months from being a licensee or being the approved manager of a hotel. Two close associates, Jason Marlow and Damien Kelly, were given a reprimand and, along with Mr Camkin, ordered to pay the costs of the Authority’s investigation.
‘Thanks to the tip-off from the general manager, we were able to step in and investigate the hotel, ultimately holding the licensee and its close associates to account,’ said Mr Crawford said.
For free and confidential support, contact GambleAware on 1800 858 858 or visit gambleaware.nsw.gov.au.