After some controversial anti-money laundering practices have been revealed during the ongoing probe into the Star Entertainment Group in the state of New South Wales (NSW) and a number of former investigations into Crown Resorts, the Government of Queensland has decided to unveil stricter gambling legislation. Under the provisions of the tougher gambling laws, there will be monetary penalties of up to AU$50 million for operators that are found to have violated the rules.
Shannon Fentiman, who is the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General, noted that the proposed changes in the piece of legislation, called Casino Control and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022, would help local authorities prevent the negative effects that crime and exploitation in casinos could inflict on society. Ms Fentiman further noted that the measures have been proposed in response to recent inquiries into some of the largest casino companies in other Australian states and territories.
According to Queensland’s Attorney-General, the bill would ensure that local residents could trust the integrity of the state’s casino laws. Furthermore, she explained that the proposed reforms seek to address concerns emerging from the ongoing public inquiries into Crown Resorts’ operations in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia, as well as the ongoing investigations into
The Star Entertainment Group.
As mentioned above, the state authorities plan to implement significant pecuniary penalties of up to AU$50 million that would serve as disciplinary action.
Proposed Reform Bill Unveils the Best Practices in Casino Regulation
The proposed reforms in Queensland’s existing gambling legislation may be considered part of the grand finale of the current review of The Star Entertainment’s suitability to retain its Sydney casino licence, which has been held by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA).
As explained by Ms Fentiman, the aforementioned reforms are considered to be examples of the best practices in casino regulation and would be officially deployed before The Star Entertainment opens its new AU3.6-billion casino at Queen’s Wharf. The Attorney-General revealed that the bill would also include certain changes set to help the delivery of the Government’s commitment to implement safe cashless gaming transactions, especially at a time when the Covid-19 outbreak significantly reduced the use of cash, with various industries moving to non-cash options.
The shift to more traceable electronic transactions was part of the recommendations made by the Finkelstein SC investigation into Crown Resorts as an effective measure that would help prevent money laundering. Furthermore, the proposed changes would help Queensland make its gambling legislation more up to date and allow new payment systems and methods to be considered for use in case they are found safe and reliable.
The proposed reforms would provide the state’s Government with the flexibility to take more innovative approaches to gaming into consideration but would also make sure that emerging technologies. Furthermore, they would make sure that emerging technologies could become subject to appropriate controls aimed at addressing potential risks.