Players at Crown Resorts’ Melbourne venue will be limited to A$1,000 per 24 hours after the local government passed legislation to deliver an additional 12 recommendations from its royal commission investigation of the company.
It is hoped that this will enable consumers to receive an enhanced level of protection and allow regulators to gain additional oversight of the facility as the state of Victoria continues its fight to combat gambling related harm and prevent money laundering.
This has seen the Casino Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 pass through parliament to introduce the proposals, which it is hoped will strengthen harm minimisation measures, combat financial crime, and boost governance and oversight of Crown.
To prevent money laundering through the casino, the legislation introduces mandatory identification checks before a person can participate in gambling activities or claim winnings of more than $1000.
Patrons of the casino will also be able to set time and money limits on their gaming activities through a mandatory pre-commitment system for electronic gaming machines for Australian residents in the venue.
This will need to be in place for the casino’s pokies by the end of next year. However, to allow for the development of technologies that do not currently exist, the full package of reforms must be implemented at the casino by no later than December 2025.
Among other reforms included in the bill, Crown will be made to pay for the cost of regulating the casino with the reintroduction of a supervision charge that was previously abolished.
“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,” noted Melissa Horne, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation.
“This legislation implements world-leading reforms to make sure the failures uncovered by the Royal Commission can never happen again.”
These reforms continue delivering on the local government’s commitment to implement all the royal commission’s recommendations in a bid to ensure that the casino is protecting its patrons and operating with integrity.
In October 2021, a royal commission enabled Crown to retain its Melbourne casino licence, despite deeming the group to be “unsuitable” on the basis that it engaged in “illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative” conduct.
In response, Victoria Premier Dan Andrews sanctioned a slate of “major reforms” to combat gambling related harm and address money laundering, including the appointment of a special manager to supervise the operations for a period of two years.
Crown Melbourne has one chance only to reform its operations and return to suitability to hold the Melbourne casino licence. If the operator does not demonstrate that it is suitable to hold the licence it will be automatically cancelled in 2024.