Hotel licensee $9,000 out of pocket over illegal gambling signs

The licensee of the Oxford Hotel in Darlinghurst has been convicted and ordered to pay almost $9,000 in fines and costs for displaying illegal gambling signs outside the venue.

Robert Doran was sentenced at Downing Centre Local Court on 10 September after earlier pleading guilty to two offences under the Gaming Machines Act. He was fined $6,000 and ordered to pay $2,907 in legal costs. 

In facts presented to the Court, Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors visited the hotel on 4 March 2018 and saw two signs on the exterior depicting a “dragon’s lounge” in a style similar to the brand of three gaming machines in the gaming room.

Officers observed the imagery and motifs on the venue’s external signage to be extremely similar to the “Dragon Cash” gaming machines.

The images were in the same style, particularly the flaming dragons facing a flaming ball/sun, as well as the accompanying references to “dragon cash” and “dragon lounge”.

The style of the lettering was also extremely similar on all images and the head and front half of the dragons on all images were near-identical.

Under NSW law, it is illegal for hotels and clubs to display any gambling-related sign anywhere outside or in the vicinity of the premises.  

Gambling signage that directly replicates imagery and motifs from gaming machines may induce vulnerable people to gamble, and Liquor & Gaming NSW will take action for such breaches.