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Conducting an Unlawful Gambling Operation

In New South Wales, conducting an unlawful gambling operation is an offence that carries a maximum penalty of a fine of 1,000 penalty units and/or seven years imprisonment.


The offence of conducting an unlawful gambling operation is contained in section 93V of the Crimes Act 1900/

What Actions Might Constitute Conducting Unlawful Gambling Operation?

The definition of an ‘unlawful gambling operation’ is set out in subsection (2). An ‘unlawful gambling operation’ is an operation which involves a substantial loss of potential revenue to the state that would be derived from lawful forms of gambling, and also involves one of the following elements:-

    • The keeping of at least 2 premises that are used for the purposes of any form of gambling prohibited by the Unlawful Gabling Act 1998;
    • Substantial planning and organisation in relation to matters connected with any such form of prohibited gambling. To establish this, the Court would need to consider factual matters, such as the number of persons and money involved in the operation; or
    • The use of sophisticated methods and technology in connection with any form of prohibited gambling or in avoiding detection of that gambling. Examples of sophisticated technology include: telephone diverters, telecommunication devices, surveillance cameras and encrypted software programs.
  • Under section 93V, you can also be said to be ‘conducting’ an unlawful gambling operation if you are organising or managing one.

What The Police Must Prove

To find you guilty of the offence of the offence of conducting an unlawful gambling operation, the police must prove each of the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you conducted an operation; and
  • That operation was an unlawful gambling operation.

Possible Defences

It is a defence to an offence of conducting an unlawful gambling operation to argue:

  • that your involvement in the operation did not amount to ‘conducting’; or
  • that the operation does not meet the criteria for an unlawful gambling operation.

Which court will hear your matter?

This offence is a strictly indictable offence which means that it cannot be finalised in the Local Court. This matter will be finalised in the District Court.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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