Victoria, NSW Australia Introducing ‘World-First’ Gambling Reforms

Posted on: August 2, 2022, 07:35h. 

Last updated on: August 3, 2022, 04:20h.

Crown Resorts and Star Entertainment have forced big changes in Australia’s approach to gambling. As a result, states across the country are introducing major reforms, with Victoria and New South Wales (NSW) leading the way.

Crown Resorts crown
The Crown Resorts crown logo at Crown Melbourne in Victoria. Both Victoria and New South Wales are ready to take their gaming regulatory reforms to a new level. (Image: Jason Reed/Reuters)

In what Victoria Gaming Minister Melissa Horne calls a “world-first in a suite of reforms,” Victoria is laying down the law. It is introducing a series of measures that will force Crown to revamp its business model.

Some 12 new initiatives are coming to Crown’s Melbourne casino, the only one in Victoria. Among these are forced loss limits on electronic gaming machines at the casino, according to ABC News. This applies to anyone visiting the casino, regardless of where they reside in the country.

Crown and Star are still reeling from inquiries that determined that both casino operators repeatedly broke financial and gaming laws. As a result, the operators have received probation and temporary license suspensions in different parts of Australia. These rules are an effort en sure gaming operators take their operations more seriously.

New Rules Outlined

Crown has until the end of next year to introduce the controls that will allow players to establish their limits. After that, it will have a little flexibility to ensure everything is in place and working properly.

Currently, the casino doesn’t use any type of forced loss limits. However, Monash University gambling researcher Charles Livingstone says implementing them won’t be an issue. He said that a pre-commitment system is already in place in Victoria, which will make it easier to introduce mandatory controls.

In addition to the limits, gamblers will have to limit their cash spending to AU$1,000 (US$692) in 24 hours. This, the government hopes will reduce the risk of potential money laundering. In addition, anything above that threshold, whether for gambling or to receive winnings, will need to go through a casino-issued card.

Crown’s antics in Victoria led to the creation of a new gaming regulator, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC), in the state. As a result, it will have to pay for some of the costs for the regulator to operate. In addition, the VGCCC recently launched a new investigation into the company’s activity, which could be a fine of up to AU$100 million (US$68.25 million).

NSW Following Suit

Just like Victoria, NSW is eyeing a new casino regulator. The NSW Independent Casino Commission (ICC) arose from the actions of Crown and Star, which have casinos in Sydney.

The NSW government is finalizing the approval of authority the ICC will hold. A parliamentary vote is coming next week to make the final determination.

Previously, NSW’s gaming regulator was the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority. However, the state determined it needed a separate entity just for gaming since the casino operators couldn’t follow the rules.

Crown and Star will have to cover the costs of the ICC’s operations. The regulator will have autonomous control over what actions to take if any operator doesn’t comply with regulations. Assisting it will be NSW’s various police forces.

Just like in Victoria, the AU$1,000 in daily cash transactions will go away. Likewise, that also means introducing a mandatory use of cashless operations. This was previously taken off the table before returning due to the circumstances.

NSW wrapped up its inquiry into Star in June. Next, it will deliver its final recommendations sometime this month.