New legislation was passed by the Victorian parliament Tuesday that seeks to reduce gambling-related harm and money laundering at Crown Melbourne.
Victorian Parliament Passes Bill 2022
The new changes come after the Royal Commission Report last October probed into the venue’s operations. Now, the legislative changes deliver a resolution of an additional 12 of the 33 Royal Commission recommendations. Bill 2022, also referred to as the Casino Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Implementation and Other Matters) ultimately seeks to fight financial crime, improve harm minimization efforts and provide meaningful changes for Crown Melbourne’s operations.
“We are holding Crown Melbourne to account and delivering on an additional 12 recommendations – targeting money laundering and harm minimization – to implement every one of the Royal Commission’s recommendations.”Melissa Horne, minister for consumer affairs, gaming, and liquor regulation
Melissa Horne, the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, said that lawmakers hold Crown Melbourne accountable for delivering and implementing the recommendations that will combat money laundering and help reduce gambling harm. What’s more, she pointed out that the venue must implement the full list of recommendations set by the Royal Commission. In conclusion, Horne explained that the new legislation introduces changes that ensure no failures such as the ones found by the Royal Commission happen again.
“This legislation implements world-leading reforms to make sure the failures uncovered by the Royal Commission can never happen again,“added Horne
Reforms Combat Money-Laundering, Seek to Reduce Gambling Harm
Under the recently approved legislative changes, the venue will require mandatory identification checks before a person can gamble or claim winnings of more than AU$1000 ($671). Additionally, gambling with cash will be limited to AU$1000 ($671) every 24 hours.
Strengthening responsible gambling, visitors of Crown Melbourne will have the option to set both money limits and time limits. According to the lawmakers, this will be completed via “a mandatory pre-commitment system for electronic gaming machines for Australian residents in the venue.”
The Royal Commission also identified inappropriate interference with casino management which the new legislation seeks to eliminate. The recent changes seek to prevent such interference by demanding the independence of the casino’s board and senior management. Ultimately, these reforms aim to ensure accountability regardless of the owner of the casino. Another key change pushed forward by the recent legislation requires organizations or people interested in owning more than 5% of the casino operator to receive approval from the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission.
According to lawmakers, the mandatory pre-commitment system would need to be implemented by the end of 2023. However, the legislation acknowledges that the development of new technologies that currently do not exist may be needed which is why the complete package of reforms has an implementation deadline of December 2025.