Maxgaming changes contract terms of slot machine contracts

Following an ACCC investigation, gaming service provider Maxgaming Qld Pty Ltd (Maxgaming), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tabcorp Holdings, has made a court-enforceable undertaking to amend potentially unfair contract terms.

The terms and conditions were included in Maxgaming’s standard form for contacting small business gambling venues. They contain terms that override the contract without notice to the customer, allow Maxgaming to increase the fees payable if equipment had to be upgraded without the customer’s consent, and exclude Maxgaming from liability for negligent or willful acts.

“We are pleased that Maxgaming has acknowledged that certain terms in its standard gaming venue contracts may have been unfair under Australian Consumer Law (ACL). We were concerned because we felt that these contract terms benefited the company without providing their customers with a corresponding benefit,” said ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver.

Maxgaming has since written to its small business customers to amend these terms and has agreed not to include these terms or any similar terms in any future small business contracts.

Under the new contract terms, customers will be informed before the contract expires, and if so, the next term will be a shorter one-year period. Previously, the next term locked customers into their contracts for a long time, in some cases up to six years.

“While the commitment only applies to Maxgaming’s small business contracts, we are pleased that Maxgaming has offered to amend these contract terms for larger businesses,” said Ms. Carver.

In the commitment to the ACCC, Maxgaming has also committed to inform all existing customers of the commitment and to implement a rigorous compliance program, including staff training and an independent assessment.

“This is a reminder to all companies, not just the gaming industry, of their obligations under the ACL and the importance of ensuring their contracts do not contain unfair contract terms,” said Ms. Carver.

A copy of the undertaking is available on the public record at Maxgaming Qld Pty Ltd.

Background

Tabcorp Holdings (ASX:TAH) is the largest gambling company in Australia.

Maxgaming is the largest provider of surveillance, gaming and maintenance services in Queensland, serving hundreds of licensed gaming venues, including sports clubs, pubs and casinos.

Maxgaming supplies and maintains gaming systems that run electronic slot machines in gaming rooms. It also provides monitoring services to ensure that relevant information is collected and provided to the relevant state or territory government, and that electronic slot machines comply with legal requirements.

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