Victoria passes gaming legislation to introduce new controls at Crown Melbourne

The Parliament of Victoria has passed the Casino Legislation Amendment Bill 2022.
The Parliament of Victoria has passed the Casino Legislation Amendment Bill 2022.

The government has introduced a series of changes to combat gambling-related harm and money laundering at Crown Resorts’ casino.

Australia.- New legislation passed in the state of Victoria yesterday (September 20) aims to increase customer protection and oversight at Crown Melbourne casino. Casino Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 introduces 12 of 33 Royal Commission recommendations to strengthen harm minimisation measures, combat financial crime, and boost governance and oversight.

New measures include identification checks for anyone claiming winnings of more than AU$1,000 (US$667). Cash usage will also be limited to AU$1,000 in 24 hours. Casino customers must be able to set time and spending limits for gaming activities through a mandatory electronic slot pre-registration system for Australian residents.

The reforms will also require casino boards and senior management be independent and accountable to the casino operator rather than the parent or holding company. Individuals or entities wishing to own more than 5 per cent of a casino operator or its holding company will need approval from the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCC).

Meanwhile, Crown will be forced to pay the cost of regulation through the reintroduction of a monitoring fee that had been scrapped by the previous government.

A mandatory pre-commitment system for casino slot machines must be implemented by the end of next year. However, in order to allow the development of technology, the wider reform package will have a deadline for implementation by December 2025.

Further proposals will be delivered over the next 12 months, most of them by the end of 2022. The government warned that if Crown Resorts does not demonstrate that it is suitable to hold its licence, the licence will be automatically cancelled in 2024.

Melissa Horne, minister for consumer affairs, gaming and liquor regulation, said: “We are holding Crown Melbourne to account and delivering on an additional 12 recommendations – targeting money laundering and harm minimisation – to implement every one of the Royal Commission’s recommendations.”

“This legislation implements world-leading reforms to make sure the failures uncovered by the Royal Commission can never happen again.”

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