As part of its ongoing investigation into the license suitability of Crown Resorts Limited and the government for the southern Australian state of Victoria has reportedly announced that it is to establish a dedicated watchdog for casinos and gambling.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the move from the administration of Premier Daniel Andrews will see the new Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission take over from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation in regulating gambling on a statewide basis. The source detailed that the fresh authority is to have increased oversight in monitoring gambling harm minimization measures and also be asked to create a bespoke unit to focus solely on the 1,604-room Crown Melbourne development from Crown Resorts Limited.

Licensing labor:

Melbourne-headquartered Crown Resorts Limited is currently the subject of a royal commission investigation in Victoria after regulators in the neighboring state of New South Wales denied the company permission to bring gambling to its new Crown Sydney facility. This decision followed a determination from an inquiry led by former New South Wales Supreme Court Judge Patricia Bergin that the beleaguered firm may have been complicit in a slew of money laundering offenses tied to its past use of foreign junket firms.

Inconvenient inadequacies:

Inside Asian Gaming reported that the ongoing Victoria probe moreover recently criticized the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation and the organization’s past boss, Peter Cohen, for allegedly looking the other way when it came to enforcement activities regarding Crown Resorts Limited. These contentions purportedly included that the watchdog had insufficient staff to conduct adequate inspections and had taken no action when the operator supposedly obstructed its regulatory efforts.

Ministerial move:

Melissa Horne serves as the Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Minister for Victoria and she reportedly used an official filing to declare that the regulation of gaming is to be taken away from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation so as to allow the new Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission to ‘focus solely on regulating casino and gambling operators and minimizing harm.’ The state legislator purportedly furthermore pronounced that the fresh watchdog will likely not be sanctioned before October after the ongoing crown commission hands over the findings of its thorough investigation.

Reportedly read a statement from Horne…

“We said that we would take action to strengthen casino oversight and that’s what we are doing with the establishment of a new gambling and casino regulator. Unethical practices in the gambling industry won’t be tolerated and the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission will provide robust regulation of the Melbourne casino and wider gambling activity across the state.”