Gaming patrons of Crown Melbourne will be required to prove their identity, limit their daily cash usage to AU$1,000 and set mandatory time and money limits on their gaming activities under new legislation passed into law by the Victorian parliament on Tuesday.
The Casino Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Implementation and Other Matters) Bill 2022 delivers on 12 of the 33 recommendations contained within the Royal Commission Report into Melbourne’s casino, handed down last October, with a focus on strengthening harm minimization measures, combating financial crime and boosting governance and oversight of Crown.
Among the key changes are mandatory identification checks before any person can participate in gambling activities or claim winnings of more than AU$1,000. Cash usage will be limited to AU$1,000 per 24 hours.
Patrons of the casino will also be able to set time and money limits on their gaming activities through a mandatory pre-commitment system for Australian residents using electronic gaming machines in the venue.
More broadly, the new legislation will require any person or entity wishing to own more than 5% of the casino operator or its holding company to gain prior approval from the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission, while Crown itself will now pay for the full cost of regulating the casino via the reintroduction of a supervision charge.
The government said Tuesday that Crown’s mandatory pre-commitment system for poker machines must be in place by the end of next year although the operator does not have to implement the full package of reforms until December 2025 to allow for the development of technologies that do not currently exist.
“We are holding Crown Melbourne to account and delivering on an additional 12 recommendations – targeting money laundering and harm minimisation – to implement every one of the Royal Commission’s recommendations,” said Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Melissa Horne.
“This legislation implements world-leading reforms to make sure the failures uncovered by the Royal Commission can never happen again.”
The government said it will give Crown Melbourne only one chance only to reform its operations and return to suitability to hold the Melbourne casino licence, with the license to be automatically cancelled in 2024 if Crown does not demonstrate suitability.