28 April, 2021
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Belatedly, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation has fined Crown for what has been clear for years. Crown has been found to have failed to adequately monitor its relationships with junkets and individuals associated with them, in order to be sure there were no links with organised crime.
Crown Melbourne makes over $1.2million a day from poker machines alone. The $1million fine represents much less than one day's business for the casino.
Alliance for Gambling Reform Chief Advocate, Rev Tim Costello, said that the regulatory system in Victoria, and across Australia, needs to mandate fines which really hurt, otherwise there is no incentive for operators to improve their systems.
“It’s clear that Crown has flouted the laws and regulations for years, and the Victorian regulator is only belatedly, after the Bergin revelations, taking action” said Rev Tim Costello.
“Fines that represent less than one day’s profits are meaningless in the context of this hugely powerful industry. It is past time for legislation to impose fines that are more than just the cost of doing business.”
“This might be a record fine for the Victorian regulator. It’s nothing more than a slap on the wrist for Crown”.
Rev Tim Costello also commented that while the news that Crown and the Regulator have suspended working with junkets is welcome, it is an empty announcement given COVID restrictions.
“Victoria needs to see strong and enforceable rules for the casino to prevent organised crime using our state as a piggy-bank. Crown can’t be trusted to undertake this kind of due diligence - it’s time for the Regulator to take over, or better still, ban junkets”.
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