The State’s consumer watchdog and gaming regulator has seized five illegal gaming machines from premises across the state, as part of a targeted crackdown.
Over recent weeks, Consumer and Business Services, in association with SAPOL, raided properties and seized illegal poker machines - the first such seizures in the state.
Acting Liquor and Gambling Commissioner Dini Soulio said the operation was the result of the agency receiving information about illegal machines.
“During May and June 2014, CBS received information indicating that unlawful gaming machines were being brought into South Australia from interstate and overseas suppliers,” Mr Soulio said.
“Under the Gaming Machines Act it is illegal to have possession of a gaming machine without being licensed to do so.”
“CBS investigations revealed that gaming machines were being bought and sold illegally, often for private residences.
“In some cases, we found that machines were being bought and placed in people’s family rooms and ‘man-caves’.
“As the gaming regulator, CBS takes this matter seriously because having unlicensed machines in private homes could expose children to poker machines.
“CBS Investigators attended four separate properties to execute warrants for the purpose of locating and seizing gaming machines.
“This was also the first time CBS officers have used such warrants on private residences under the auspices of the Gaming Machines Act.
The outcomes of the operations were:
• a gaming machine and other evidence was seized from a house in the Willaston area;
• a gaming machine at a Whyalla address was surrendered;
• two gaming machines surrendered at a Prospect address;
• a gaming machine at a Port Pirie address was surrendered to CBS officers.
Five machines were seized, and eight individuals were found in unlawful possession of gaming machines.
CBS is now working on prosecutions over the seizures, and the maximum penalty for such offences is a $35,000 fine or two years imprisonment.
Once legal action is complete, the seized gaming machines will be destroyed.
CBS is working with interstate and overseas authorities to identify any companies or individuals supplying gaming machines to people in South Australia.
“Anyone considering buying a gaming machine without the appropriate licence should be aware that significant penalties apply.” Mr Soulio said.