New legislation that will grant Victoria’s casino regulator enhanced powers has been introduced to parliament.
The Victorian state government said Tuesday that the legislation, which incorporates some of the recommendations from last year’s Royal Commission into Crown Melbourne, will see casino inspectors be given greater access to surveillance equipment and casino records, while requiring casino employees to assist inspectors to access and operate surveillance equipment to monitor all activity on the gaming floor.
It will also provide enhanced powers for the recently formed Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC), which replaces the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), and make gambling harm minimization part of the new regulator’s core business by increasing its powers to take action against Crown Melbourne if Crown fails to abide by the gambling code of conduct.
Liquor regulation will, under the legislation, be transferred to the Department of Justice and Community Safety.
The new laws will mean a single breach of the code is grounds for disciplinary action. Previously the VGCCC could only initiate disciplinary action after repeated breaches of the gambling code, the government said.
“This important legislation will enhance compliance and enforcement powers and ensure reducing gambling harm is a key priority of the regulator,” said Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Melissa Horne.
“We’re continuing to hold Crown to account, and these changes will strengthen the already robust oversight of the casino operator.
“The legislation introduced today is an important step in implementing every one of the Royal Commission’s recommendations, with further reforms to be introduced later this year.”