The Andrews Labor Government is continuing to ensure the state upholds the highest possible standard of gambling regulation, with legislation to implement further recommendations from the Crown Royal Commission introduced to Parliament today.
The legislation will see casino inspectors be given greater access to surveillance equipment and casino records and require casino employees to assist inspectors to access and operate surveillance equipment to monitor all activity on the gaming floor.
The legislation will also implement new regulatory arrangements, with enhanced powers for the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) and the transfer of liquor regulation to the Department of Justice and Community Safety.
The changes will also make gambling harm minimisation part of the VGCCC’s core business and increase its powers to take action against Crown Melbourne if it fails to abide by the gambling code of conduct.
The new laws will mean a single breach of the code is grounds for disciplinary action. Previously the VGCCC could only initiate disciplinary action after repeated breaches of the gambling code.
Work is currently underway to transition the regulation of liquor to the department, which will enable the VGCCC to exclusively focus on monitoring gambling and the casino.
The liquor regulator will comprise statutory commissioners supported by the department to regulate the liquor sector and undertake licensing, compliance and enforcement activity.
Legislation passed in 2021 means the VGCCC already has increased powers to hold Crown to account, including a duty for casino operators and their associates to comply with the VGCCC in a frank manner and do everything necessary to ensure the casino operations are conducted with integrity.
These reforms also increased the maximum penalty the VGCCC can impose for disciplinary action which will see Crown face fines of up to $100 million.
The design of the VGCCC is being informed by best practice regulatory arrangements from around the world.
As stated by Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne
“This important legislation will enhance compliance and enforcement powers and ensure reducing gambling harm is a key priority of the regulator.”
“We’re continuing to hold Crown to account, and these changes will strengthen the already robust oversight of the casino operator.”
“The legislation introduced today is an important step in implementing every one of the Royal Commission’s recommendations, with further reforms to be introduced later this year.”