Wed, Sep 4, 1:58pm by Staff Writer
A casino in Alice Springs has been fined for failing to exclude intoxicated patrons from its premises.
The $18,000 fine for Ford Dynasty, which owns the Lasseters Casino pleaded guilty to three instances of failing to exclude drunks from a licenced premises last year, once on November 30 and twice on December 5.
The casino is the central Australian town’s largest venue.
In the Alice Springs Local Court on Monday, Judge Greg Borchers ordered the business to pay $5,000 per instance, plus a $1,000 victim’s levy for each charge.
No conviction was recorded.
The court heard the incidents occurred when the casino experienced an influx of patrons after the introduction of police auxiliary officers patrolling takeaway liquor outlets in October.
Referencing an affidavit from Lasseters chief executive officer Craig Jervis, Judge Borchers said that following this period, the number of patrons visiting the casino went up 35 per cent each day.
Prosecutor Bethany Nolan said during this period, 38 people were evicted from the casino each day.
Judge Borchers said both Ford Dynasty and Northern Territory Police anticipated a spike in patronage in the wake of the new anti-alcohol measures.
The business increased its security and restricted the bar’s trading hours, and Judge Borchers said staff should have noticed the intoxicated people before police escorted them out.
The court heard that on the first instance in November, two police officers observed a man playing blackjack at about 11pm.
Judge Borchers said the man could not maintain his balance or take direction from the dealer and was escorted out by police, according to the ABC.
One afternoon almost a month later, at around 3pm, two police officers found a woman sleeping in the sports screening rom; they roused her and found she was intoxicated.
CCTV showed that a cleaner had found the woman asleep in the room about an hour earlier but did not wake her.
Later that day, in the third instance, at around 7:30pm, two officers saw a man staggering in the main bar area and determined he was drunk; he then became “quarrelsome” as he was escorted out.
Judge Borchers described the incidents before the court as the “unintended consequences” of the banned drinks register and the introduction of police auxiliary officers, both of which only operate at takeaway alcohol retailers.
“If you legally cannot purchase takeaway alcohol…the choice is obvious…drink where it is sold, that is at hotels and other licenced premises,” he said.
Although the casino needed to increase security costs, its revenue would have also increased due to the spike in customers, the Judge said.
He said the case should send a message to the community at large that “the holders of liquor licences are being held accountable.”
But he also took into account the guilty plea and said Ford Dynasty had no prior convictions, employed a large number of people and supported many community events.
Alice Springs casino fined over drunken gamblers https://t.co/MmsfQ4IFQI
— CalvinAyre.com (@CalvinAyreNews) September 3, 2019
SkyCity Darwin is reverting back to a name it held in the mid 1980s, with the casino soon to be called the Mindil Beach Casino, Casino Aus reported in April.
In its 40 years of existence, one casino in the Northern Territory has been through many changes, including many names.
When it first opened in 1979, the casino was known as Don Casino and it was the second casino to ever open in Australia.
It then became the Mindil Beach Casino for the first time in 1983, when the government acquired it by force.
Greate Bay Casino and Aspinall holdings were to operate the venue.
Two years later, Aspinall bought out Greate Bay Casino’s interest in the property for $1 million and the government’s interest for $5 million. The property then became the Diamond Beach Hotel and Casino.
That name was short-lived however, with MGM Grand buying the complex for $75 million in 1995 and renaming it the MGM Grand Darwin. The name stood for nine years.
In 2004, New Zealand based SkyCity Entertainment Group bought the venue for $195 million and renamed it SkyCity Darwin.
It remained under this ownership for the longest period since its launch as a casino.
In an era of rapid gambling business sales and merges, it was only a matter of time until that changed.
In November 2018, Delaware North bought the property for $188 million and in April 2019, it officially became known as Mindil Beach Casino & Resort.
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