Lake Illawarra police are again reminding residents it is an offence to own a poker machine, after a Horsley man recently surrendered his own vintage machine.
The 67-year-old contacted police after reading a September article in the Mercury that pointed out it was illegal for a private citizen to own such a machine.
Having a poker machine in your possession can result in an $11,000 fine, 12 months jail, or both.
The man surrendered his machine, a mechanical model he had owned for more than 30 years, to Lake Illawarra licensing officers on September 30.
Police simply issued a warning to the man, and confirmed they would not be taking any further action.
‘‘Even if the machine is dismantled or disabled, operating or not, it is outlawed for a citizen to own one,’’ Lake Illawarra Licensing Sergeant Gary Keevers told the Mercury in September.
‘‘It is even illegal to own components, art work or boards from old machines.’’
Sgt Keevers said the NSW Gaming Machines Act of 2001 effectively outlawed older mechanical machines, and restricted the ownership of newer electronic machines to pubs, clubs and hotels. Police monitor online market places including eBay and Gumtree, and attend auctions to track the sale and purchase of machines.
Sgt Keevers said police gave notice to owners that it was illegal to own a machine, rather than charging them, as the offence and penalties were not widely known.
Anyone owning a machine can contact Lake Illawarra police’s licensing division to have it disposed of.