Crown Resorts Fallout Leads to New Casino Regulator in Victoria, Australia

Posted on: November 23, 2021, 10:57h. 

Last updated on: November 23, 2021, 02:32h.

The Victorian government has appointed Fran Thorn as the first chairperson of its new gambling regulator. She will take office for three years starting in January 2022.

Crown Resorts
Crown Resorts in Victoria, seen above, will answer to a new gaming regulator moving forward (Image: ABC News)

Thorn will create and lead the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC). Thorn is the former Secretary to the Department of Health.

The state’s gambling industry was previously regulated by the Victorian Commission for Gambling Liquor Regulation (VCGLR). However, the Australian State appointed Thorn to oversee gambling activity in the state. This, undoubtedly, is in part because of the fallout from Crown Resorts.

Victoria saved Crown from license revocation, which had already happened in New South Wales, but put the embattled casino operator on notice.

The state of Victoria is located in southeast Australia and is home to the city of Melbourne.

Dedicated Department Will Increase Oversight

The appointment also comes with a change in regulations. Now, the gambling industry will no longer regulate liquor. Instead, The Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS) will take over that responsibility.

That department previously had an annual budget of over $9 billion, according to its fiscal year 2019 report. Victoria hasn’t said how much money the VGCCC will be given.

The separation of liquor from gaming will allow the VGCCC to focus solely on the regulation of casino and gambling operators and minimize harm, according to an announcement by the Victorian government.

Australia Likely to See More Regulatory Changes

The Crown drama, which has led to investigations uncovering massive money laundering and regulatory failures, is likely just the beginning of major reform in Australia. The creation of the VGCCC is the first step for the state to better monitor its land-based casinos. But it is likely not the last.

After Crown came under fire, it didn’t take long for regulators and authorities to begin to think that similar activity could be taking place by other operators. That led to Star Entertainment finding itself in a similar situation to that faced by Crown.

Across much of Australia, gambling and liquor have predominantly been overseen by a single regulator. However, with Victoria setting the stage, the Western Australian Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor, the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission, and Liquor and Gaming New South Wales might follow Victoria’s lead.