Crown Melbourne Limited Faces More Disciplinary Action From Victorian Gambling Regulators

  • Crown Melbourne could face a $100m fine or censure
  • The operator must provide a report regarding its Responsible Service of Gambling obligations
  • Casino licensing in Melbourne requires operators to protect vulnerable customers
Crown Melbourne sign
Victorian gambling regulators are considering disciplinary action against Crown Melbourne Limited. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Responsible Service of Gambling obligations

Crown Melbourne Limited is in hot water this week after the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) continues disciplinary action against the casino operator. Regulators found Crown breached the Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct and new disciplinary action could be coming soon.

inadequately supervised customers numbering in the hundreds or even thousands

The casino company is said to have inadequately supervised customers numbering in the hundreds or even thousands regarding problem gambling. The Commission is asking Crown to provide information regarding its obligations to consumers. Once reviewed, the company could issue fines or other action based on the results.

Potential fines or censure for Crown Melbourne

The Commission may take action against the company depending on what the information connected to Responsible Service of Gambling obligations reveals. The Commission could decide to hit Crown with a fine of up to $100m. The casino license agreement could also change along with censure against the company and the implementation of steps needed to rectify the situation.

Commission Chair Fran Thorn commented recently that the obligations are a casino license condition. These obligations protect vulnerable consumers and work to prevent gambling-related harm to the player, their family members, and the local community.

vulnerable patrons being encouraged to gamble beyond their means”

“We heard many distressing stories at the Royal Commission of vulnerable patrons being encouraged to gamble beyond their means,” Thorn said.

The Commission will deal with the issues uncovered by the Royal Commission when it comes to the approach by the Crown regarding responsible gambling. The operator must act in line with its obligations as well as the expectations of the community.

Retaining its operating license and subsequent fines

Issues regarding Crown Melbourne Limited have been ongoing for quite some time. Victorian regulators allowed Crown Resorts to keep its license in Melbourne last year after a review by the Royal Commission. The review found that Crown engaged in illegal and dishonest behavior, including facilitating millions of dollars in laundered funds.

The result of the report saw regulators place Crown Melbourne under strict supervision for two years. The company vowed to do better and accepted 33 recommendations for change.

The Victorian government said that tough new measures and strict oversight would ensure that the casino does not see such failures again.

This year, regulators continued reviewing Crown Melbourne and found that the casino helped gamblers illegally transfer funds out of China. Gamblers were able to use a China Union Pay bank card to gamble from 2012 to 2016. Regulators ultimately fined Crown Melbourne AU$80m (US$57.6m).

The VGCCC says that Crown Melbourne processed around AU$164m (US$118m) in transactions from China. This resulted in more than AU$32m (US$23m) in illegal payments. The activity violates the State’s Casino Control Act and China’s laws.

Victorian regulators announced late last year that it could take additional action against Crown Melbourne in the future. The fine in May started the process. We may see more action against the company, including a higher fine, if the obligations report is lacking.