New regulations that have provided greater enforcement powers to the gambling regulatory body of Victoria, allowing it to further investigate the operations, policies and services of Crown Melbourne and take action against it in case it violates the state’s code of conduct, have been enforced.
At the beginning of July, the Victorian Government officially confirmed that the new regulatory powers came into force. Under the new legislative rules, inspectors have been provided with greater access to the casino’s surveillance equipment and books.
Apart from that, the core business of the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has also seen the implementation of gambling harm minimisation rules, with a violation of the code set to now lead to disciplinary action against the gambling operator that breached these rules. Previously, the regulatory body only had the powers to initiate disciplinary action against a gambling company that has repeatedly violated the gambling code.
The official announcement that the stricter regulations came into force came at a time when the State Government unveiled the establishment of Liquor Control Victoria (LCV), the new liquor watchdog in the state. Prior to the establishment of the Royal Commission in Crown Melbourne in 2021, the gambling and liquor sectors in Victoria had been regulated by a single watchdog – the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR).
Victorian Gambling and Liquor Watchdog Divided into Two Bodies to Ensure Better Regulation
The new liquor regulatory body in the state – Liquor Control Victoria – is set to operate under the scope of the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS). Its powers and functions include approval, licensing, authorisation, registration and monitoring activities, as well as responding to violations of liquor regulations.
As explained by Melissa Horne, Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation of Victoria, the new liquor watchdog in the state is set to provide the strongest possible level of industry oversight. On the other hand, the new powers of the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission will make a significant difference in the minimisation of gambling-related harm for all residents of Victoria. Ms Horne further explained that the implementation of the new powers of the VGCCC is aimed at making sure that Crown Melbourne operates in line with the state’s gambling laws.
Earlier this year, the Labour Government of Victoria faced a massive wave of criticism for playing too soft on the gambling operator when it comes to making decisions about the holder of the only casino operating permit in the state. According to anti-gambling campaigners and lobbyists, the Government of Premier Andrews has been making various decisions in favour of Crown Melbourne.
As Casino Guardian reported at the time, these claims have been backed by Samantha Ratnam, the leader of the Greens Party, who has described the approach of Andrews’ Government to Crown Melbourne as “outrageous” and said that the Government should have stood up to the local gambling industry but had not done so because the casino operator has been a major political donor over the last few years.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.