South Australia’s Liquor and Gambling regulator has cited a “number of the matters raised to date” that it says highlights “broader systemic issues within the casino industry,” upon launching an independent review of operations in the state.
In light of investigations being undertaken elsewhere, the SA regulator is commissioning an independent review of SkyCity Adelaide to determine if the group is suitable to retain its casino licence.
Crown Resorts recently gained approval to commence gaming operations at the A$2.2bn (US$1.7bn) Crown Sydney Hotel Resort, after the group had previously been found unsuitable in New South Wales, Western Australia, and Victoria.
In the latter, the group is to undergo a second round of disciplinary proceedings in relation to its alleged responsible gambling failures.
Elsewhere, Star Entertainment is awaiting the results of a probe in NSW, while a fellow investigation in the Sunshine State is set to get underway.
“Commissions of inquiry have been undertaken in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia into the Casinos operating or proposing to operate in those states and a further inquiry is about to be commenced in Queensland,” explained Dini Soulio, Liquor and Gambling Commissioner.
“Inquiries to date have highlighted significant failings on the part of Crown Resorts as operators of Crown Casinos.
“In addition, Star Entertainment Group is the subject of a current inquiry in NSW where significant failings have been identified.
“A number of the matters raised to date extend beyond any one organisation and point instead to broader systemic issues within the casino industry.
“As a result, an investigation will be undertaken by the Honourable Brian Martin AO QC to ensure that the way that SkyCity operates demonstrates that the licensee is still suitable to hold the casino licence in South Australia.”
Retired Supreme Court Judge Brian Martin is to lead the review, with a report due back to the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner by February 1, 2023.
“Mr Martin is a highly respected member of the legal profession,” Soulio added. “He has conducted reviews of key criminal justice policies in South Australia including reforms to the handling of major indictable offences and the state’s sentencing discount scheme.
“I have every confidence he will deliver a report to help us ensure that South Australians can have confidence in the way that the Adelaide Casino is operating.”