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Media
5 October 2018

$100k fine for Illawarra Steelers Rugby League Club and life ban for former secretary

The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (lLGA) has fined Illawarra Steelers District Rugby League Club $100,000 and banned the club’s former secretary Scott Miles from the clubs industry for life for a range of serious offences.

Mr Miles is currently serving a four year jail sentence for stealing $1 million from the club to fund a gambling habit.

Liquor & Gaming NSW’s investigation, which resulted in a complaint to ILGA, found that in addition to the fraud, Mr Miles had orchestrated other serious breaches of the Gaming Machines Regulation 2010 and the Liquor Act 2007.

Patrons playing poker machines had been offered free alcohol as inducements to keep playing, and were extended credit by EFTPOS transactions disguised as purchases to supply cash for playing poker machines.

In its decision (PDF 240.5 KB), ILGA said the breaches were serious and systemic, and there were consumer harms posed by unlawfully incentivising gamblers and obscuring credit transactions.

ILGA chair Philip Crawford said the case highlighted how important governance is in protecting club members and problem gamblers from harm.

“Providing inducements to patrons such as free drinks and cash from disguised credit transactions is completely irresponsible and can cause significant harm to people at risk of problem gambling and their families and friends. The club, as licensee, is ultimately responsible,” Mr Crawford said.

Mr Crawford said ILGA has no hesitation in imposing life bans for serious misconduct in the clubs industry. This is the first life ban following the NSW Government’s reforms to the Registered Clubs Act passed by Parliament in March. Under the reforms, club directors and senior managers who do the wrong thing can be banned for life and fined up to $11,000.

“Disqualifying Mr Miles for life will not only protect the community by removing him from being able to hold another regulated role but will send a message to others in the industry,” Mr Crawford said.

As a result of the Liquor & Gaming NSW investigation, ILGA determined:

  • Mr Miles was not a “fit and proper” person to be involved in the clubs industry and banned him from the industry for life
  • the club breached provisions of the Liquor Act and Gaming Machines Regulation relating to offering inducements and credit for gambling, and fined the club $100,000
  • to impose a condition on the club licence to mandate a whistleblower policy
  • the club pay Liquor & Gaming NSW’s investigation costs of $27,642.

Media: Eric Aubert 02 9995 0794 or 0438 207 294