Man fined for putting bootleg pokie machine in his house
A Townsville soil tech has been slapped with a hefty fine after police uncovered a black-market pokie machine at his home.
Officers found the machine and five marijuana seeds when they searched Joshua Michael Williams' home on August 30.
Williams, 25, faced the Townsville Magistrates Court on Thursday where he pleaded guilty to possessing dangerous drugs and a gaming machine.
Prosecutor Tasman Murphy said Williams refused to tell police how he came to have the machine when it was unearthed at his home.
Mr Murphy said the machine had been in service at the Townsville RSL but was removed in 2019.
"Under the legislation, they cannot be sold to another licensee and can't be converted, displayed or reused in any way," Mr Murphy said.
Anyone in breach of the Gaming Machine Act of 1991 faces up to five years in custody. Solicitor Mathai Joshi of Arthur Browne & Associates said his client faced a " very unusual charge".
Mr Joshi said the machine was not acquired for criminal purposes and Williams had been using it recreationally without realising it was against the law.
"The basis of the use of the machine was 100 per cent for personal use only," Mr Joshi said.
"My client does not have a gambling issue, but what he has instructed me was that he noticed that he would attend pubs and other venues primarily to use the machines.
"He had purchased this item from another person. There was no allegation he was running some sort of underground pokie use."
Magistrate Ken Taylor said he took into account Williams' early plea of guilty in sentencing and his history. He fined Williams $1000. No conviction was recorded.
Originally published as SLAP AT HOME: Man fined for black-market pokie