The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) has announced a series of enhancements to its regulatory reach as it prepares to transition to a standalone casino regulator.
The enhancements follow confirmation by the state government in August that it had agreed to support all 19 recommendations from the Bergin Report, released in February 2021, in relation to the regulation of casinos in NSW. The Bergin Report also recommended that Crown Resorts be found unsuitable to hold a casino license for its AU$2.2 billion Crown Sydney development pending implementation of significant changes.
While new legislation around casino regulation, including formation of a new standalone casino regulator, is expected to be introduced in mid-2022, ILGA said Friday that it was introducing a range of enhancements to its structure and capabilities in the interim.
These will include:
- Functional separation of casino regulation from liquor and gaming regulation within the current casino regulator, including some ILGA members dedicated to casino matters;
- Changing the appointment of the current ILGA chairperson Philip Crawford from part-time to full-time;
- Appointment of a new ILGA board member with anti-money laundering expertise;
- Allocation of additional resources to relevant teams within the Department of Customer Service to better support ILGA’s exercise of its legislative functions and powers;
- Development of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Customer Service and AUSTRAC to strengthen collaboration and information sharing between the agencies
Crawford said the interim arrangements would enhance the management of existing and emerging risks in the current casino regulatory environment, particularly those related to money laundering and other financial crimes.
“We need improved capacity now and that’s what these interim arrangements will provide for,” Crawford said.
“ILGA will use the new arrangements to further enhance its ability to identify and address organized crime in casinos and to expand its cooperation with the ACIC, AUSTRAC and the NSW Police Force.”