The state of Victoria has called for the casinos next review to be brought forward after the revelation of failings at an inquity in New South Wales.
Australia.- The Victoria state gambling and liquor regulator has brought forward its review of Crown Resorts’ Melbourne casino in light of irregularities revealed during New South Wales’ investigation into the company.
The Victoria government said in a release: “In light of recent evidence heard in the ongoing Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) inquiry in New South Wales, the government will bring forward the next review to examine Crown’s licence suitability in Victoria.
“The ILGA Inquiry will hand down its findings in February 2021, but there is a need for immediate response in Victoria given concerning evidence presented throughout the course of the NSW investigation.”
ILGA carried out a hearing into Crown’s fitness to operate as a result of a 2016 incident in which 19 officials went to jail for promoting gambling in China, where it is illegal.
The investigation shone a light on other irregularities, such as the operator helping Chinese high rollers with known links to organised crime to get visas to enter Australia and play at local casinos. it also let players use unsupervised bank accounts in the operator’s name.
The ILGA is currently considering if Crown Resorts is fit to keep the casino licence for its new Barangaroo property. The decision is due in February.
Now the Victoria state government has asked the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) to bring forward its scheduled seventh review of the Melbourne casino.
The last review of this property was concluded in 2018, but the new procedure will look into the “suitability of Crown Melbourne Limited to hold the casino licence in Victoria.”
The government said a dedicated commissioner will be appointed to the VCGLR to carry out the investigation.
Crown said it has been working with Victoria regulators and will continue cooperating.
Crown said: “The VCGLR will report its findings to the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation (Minister) in 2021.”
In the meantime, Crown plans to open the non-gaming areas of Crown Sydney on December 28 after gaining a provisional liquor licence from the ILGA.