A new legislative proposal made by Victorian lawmakers is seeking to see the implementation of stricter rules for the local gambling industry as part of the authorities’ efforts to tackle gambling-related harm.
Under the provisions of the new regulation, the recently-established Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) is set to be empowered, as it will take over the responsibilities of the so-far existing regulator – the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGRL). This, however, applies only to the gambling regulation of the VCGRL, while the liquor regulation will be handed to the Department of Justice and Community Safety. State legislators further revealed that enforcing the newly-proposed rules and reduction of gambling-related harm among Victorian citizens will be among the top priorities of the newly-created watchdog.
Companies that violate the existing gambling legislation are set to face disciplinary action from the new gambling regulatory body. The implementation of the new rules is a significant change from the already existing regulations, which only trigger disciplinary actions against local gambling companies that have violated the state’s gambling laws more than once.
Apart from that, the newly-unveiled proposal would empower and grant additional responsibilities to casino inspectors. According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, casino inspectors would be provided with access to casino records and surveillance equipment, if Victorian lawmakers give the nod to the proposed measure.
New Gambling Watchdog in Victoria to Take Over Gambling Regulatory Powers of the VCGLR
The new legislation is proposed at a time when the state introduced a new tool to help local people retain control over their gambling habits.
The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF) developed a new tool, called Reset, in return for a payment received by the Government of Victoria. Recently, Melissa Horne, the minister for gaming and liquor regulation, announced that the Reset application will be helpful in the battle against gambling-related harm. As Ms Horne noted, it is very important for the local Government to tackle gambling harm and make sure that the residents of the state can access the help they need, so the introduction of the aforementioned app was another part of the authorities’ efforts to support Victorians who are considered at risk of developing problem gambling behaviour.
According to the Victorian minister for gambling and liquor regulation, the new legislation will help local authorities increase operators’ compliance, as it is in line with the recommendations made by the Royal Commission as part of its investigation into Crown Resorts’ operations. Ms Horne further shared that additional reforms to the state’s gambling legislation are expected to be officially tabled by the end of 2022.
Speaking about the newly-unveiled gambling rules, Ms Horne shared that the state’s regulator continues to hold Crown Resorts responsible for its failures, and the implementation of the proposed rules will enhance the already strict oversight of the Australian gambling giant.
As Casino Guardian previously reported, in 2021, the Victorian Royal Commission found multiple instances of violation of the state’s gambling laws, with the gambling company being accused of money laundering and responsible gambling failures, along with poor corporate governance that ultimately led to Crown Resorts being found unfit to hold its operating licence in Victoria. Eventually, the Australian gambling giant has been permitted to keep its operations in the state over a 2-year grace period but it will have to act in order to make its wrongdoings right and prove it is suitable to continue operating on the territory of the state.