Victoria’s new gambling laws intended to hold Crown Resorts to account

Authorities in Victoria want to introduce changes to current gambling laws.
Authorities in Victoria want to introduce changes to current gambling laws.

Melissa Horne, minister for gaming and liquor regulation, says new laws seek to increase control of the gaming industry.

Australia.- Victorian authorities are finalising details of new legislation that aims to intensify control of the gaming industry in the state. According to local media, the new measures, which are expected to be approved quickly, are in line with the recommendations proposed last year after the investigation into Crown Resorts that found the casino operator unsuitable to hold a licence for its Melbourne casino. 

Gaming and liquor regulation minister Melissa Horne stated: “We’re continuing to hold Crown to account, and these changes will strengthen the already robust oversight of the casino operator.”

She said the new legislation will improve compliance processes and ensure that gambling harm reduction will be a key priority.

If passed, the legislation would formalise the division of the state’s liquor and gaming watchdog by transferring alcohol regulation to the justice department and increasing the powers of the new Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC).

The new legislation also gives inspectors greater access to casino records and surveillance of gambling activities.

VGCCC, which was launched on January 1, has announced it could impose a fine up to a maximum of AU$100m on Crown, modify the casino operator’s licence, censure it and order the company to take rectification steps.

The Victorian government is expected to introduce further changes to implement Judge Raymond Finkelstein‘s recommendations later this year.

Between 2012 and 2016, Crown Resorts used the Chinese bank card China UnionPay to allow international guests to use funds to play games at Melbourne casinos, according to the royal commission. A New South Wales investigation has revealed that the Star Entertainment Group was running a similar system, allowing transfers totalling AU$900m.

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