Victorian Government Appoints Fran Thorn as Chair of New Gaming Regulator

Victoria’s new gambling regulator has its first chairperson, who was appointed by the Victorian government. Fran Thorn, the former Department of Health Secretary, has been tasked with creating and leading the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC). Once she takes office in January 2022, her term will last three years.

VGCCC Replaces VCGLR as Gaming Regulator

Before the VGCCC takes charge of the gambling industry in Victoria, the Victorian Commission for Gambling Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) had the same role. Then, the Australian state decided to appoint Thorn and task her with overseeing gambling activities due to the Crown Resorts fallout.

Crown lost its license in New South Wales and even though Victoria, which is in the southeast region of Australia and has Melbourne as its capital, didn’t revoke the operator’s license, it put the casino on notice.

Changes in regulations also follow the appointment. One of the most important is that liquor will not be regulated by the gambling industry anymore. Now, that responsibility falls into The Department of Justice and Community Safety’s hands.

According to the 2019 fiscal year report, the annual budget of the DJCS was around $9 billion, but Victoria didn’t share any details concerning VGCCC’s budget.

VGCCC to Tackle Gambling Harm in Victoria

Thanks to the fact that liquor will no longer be under the jurisdiction of the newly-formed VGCCC, the regulator will be able to focus solely on the gambling industry and as the Victorian government announced, it will be able to minimize harm.

The creation of VGCCC may be the first step towards changing the way the gambling industry in Victoria is regulated, but it is not the last. One of the biggest eye-openers was the drama with Crown, where an investigation uncovered regulatory failures as well as money laundering. 

Regulators and authorities were quick to think that other operators might be in the same shady business as Crown. That even led to Star Entertainment being thrown in the same waters as Crown.

Gambling and liquor have been predominantly overseen by just one regulator in a majority of Australian states. However, since Victoria has made the first step into dividing these two industries, the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission, the Western Australian Department of Racing, as well as Liquor and Gaming New South Wales might follow its steps.

The main goal of forming new authorities is for the states to be more effective in the way they regulate the gambling industry and make sure that massive criminal activities such as the ones Crown Resorts participated in are uncovered early, shut down, and in doing so, ensure the transparency, safety and stability of the said industry.

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