November 7, 2022 3 min read

Crown Resorts Suffers $77M Penalty in Melbourne

The Australian gambling market is a bit of a hot mess right now. Crown Resorts has been struggling with regulatory action across several states and so has The Star Entertainment Group which was served with two show-cause notices in Queensland last week. To add insult to injury, now Crown Melbourne has been hit with a record AU$120 million ($77 million) fine issued by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission.

Crown Melbourne Gets Hit with Second Penalty

The penalty has been applied to correspond to established failures in the group’s Responsible Service of Gambling obligations and stems from the Royal Commission investigation into specific Crown Melbourne shortcomings.

This is not the first time Crown Melbourne has been hit with a penalty by the same regulator, as previously, the VGCCC deemed it appropriate to hand down an $AU80 million ($51 million) penalty to the group over the practices that enabled Chinese customers to continue using the China Union Pay cards for gambling transactions while the group booked those transactions as hotel expenses.

The latest failure, though, has to specifically do with responsible gambling, and the regulator insists that Crown Melbourne has had a streak of failures over the years in ensuring that individuals experiencing high-risk gambling behavior were not aided. Crown Melbourne has been found at fault for allowing customers and gamblers to go on longer-than-24-hour binges without any intervention on the part of the property, which directly breached the Responsible Service of Gambling.

According to VGCCC chairperson, Fran Thorn, Crown Resorts has clearly failed its legal and moral obligations to ensure that people who visited the property were protected and out of harm’s way. The present penalty, Thorn said, will be a powerful message to any other property, not just Crown, that is coloring around the lines or outright not complying with the existing Responsible Service of Gambling mandates.

A Decade of Systematic Failures

According to Fran, the penalty was deserved, as the findings were not about some isolated breaches, but outlined a continued practice that happened over a decade – some 12 years. Thorn further noted that the VGCCC wanted all other stakeholders in the gambling industry to take notice and read into the Commission’s verdict so that this could be the last time such a penalty has been rendered to a property.

However, should more failings surface, the VGCCC would not hesitate to act and issue penalties appropriate to the offences. Crown Melbourne is presently under a special management regime which is set to continue through 2024 and will help determine whether the property can go back on its own or whether Crown will have to forfeit the license for its Melbourne casino.  

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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