Penalties for unlawful gaming

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) responds to numerous enquiries and complaints in relation to poker and poker tournaments conducted in licensed premises (including hotels and clubs) that are regulated under the Liquor Act 1992.

The Liquor Act prohibits a licensee from any of the following:

  • bringing or keeping a machine or device capable of being used for betting or gaming on the licensed premises, other than ones required for wagering or gaming authorised under the Wagering Act 1998, Gaming Machine Act 1991, Charitable & Non-Profit Gaming Act 1999 or Keno Act 1996
  • conducting or allowing an art union or lottery on the licensed premises that is not authorised by law
  • permitting an unlawful sport or game to be played on the licensed premises.

A maximum penalty of $33,362 applies to a licensee convicted of these actions.

The Liquor Act also prohibits a licensee from allowing the licensed premises for to be used for betting, unless either:

  • the licensed premises are located inside a licensed venue under the Racing Integrity Act 2016 and the betting takes place during times that betting may be conducted under that Act
  • the betting is conducted under the Casino Control Act 1982, the Charitable and Non-Profit Gaming Act, the Gaming Machine Act, the Interactive Gambling (Player Protection) Act 1998, the Keno Act, the Lotteries Act 1997 or the Wagering Act.

A maximum penalty of $13,345 or 6 months imprisonment applies to a licensee convicted of allowing betting at a licensed premises outside of these circumstances.

The penalty amounts are current as of 1 July 2019 and if a licensee is convicted of one of these offences, the liquor licence may also be suspended or cancelled by OLGR.

When investigating complaints in relation to poker conducted at licensed premises, OLGR works collaboratively with the Queensland Police Service to establish whether the conduct constitutes an unlawful game within the meaning of the Criminal Code Act 1899, and whether the conduct of the licensee, in allowing the poker at their licensed venue, amounts to an offence under the Liquor Act.

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