A tough punishment
Crown Melbourne is facing a stiff punishment for money laundering failures uncovered last year. The Victorian Government has now outlined plans to introduce some of the toughest restrictions ever placed on an Australian casino at the Crown Resorts-owned property.
strongest measures in any casino in Australia”
In a news release from the Victorian Government published Monday, Premier Daniel Andrews stated that a raft of Crown Melbourne reforms based on 12 recommendations from the Royal Commission “will be a world first — and the strongest measures in any casino in Australia.”
The Andrews Labor Government will introduce the major reforms to Parliament on Wednesday, measures that address Crown Melbourne’s history of gambling harms and money laundering.
As per one of the stringent measures, bettors will have to track playing time and declare how much money they intend to spend at the casino via “mandatory pre-commitment on all electronic gaming machines,” known colloquially as pokies.
Daily caps on casino spend
In addition, the news release states, Crown Melbourne must introduce a 24-hour cash transaction cap of AU$1,000 (US$693) per person. An additional first for Australia will see bettors made to use casino-issued cards plus show ID to gamble or pocket winnings over AU$1,000 (US$693).
Crown Melbourne must introduce its new slot machine measures by the end of 2023. A stay of grace “due to technologies that do not currently exist” will allow the casino until December 2025 to implement the full package of reforms.
disgraceful conduct uncovered by the Royal Commission”
The Victorian Government’s Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Melissa Horne, described the legislation as “the next step in our national-leading reforms to ensure the disgraceful conduct uncovered by the Royal Commission will never happen again in Melbourne.”
The state government said it will work with the former James Packer-owned casino and the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) to set earlier implementation dates on the remaining reforms.
Under close scrutiny
The VGCCC has already introduced an anti-money laundering measure at Crown Melbourne whereby the casino must only hold a single bank account for patrons to deposit funds for gambling. Coupled with this, Horne’s affirmation that: “Some of the strongest protections in the world will now be in place” at the casino, means the establishment will face intense scrutiny for the foreseeable future.
In addition, officials will also monitor Crown Melbourne’s executives closely, this comes as a direct result of the Royal Commission ruling that Packer exerted too much control on the casino’s board. The state intends to introduce accountability to the casino framework, as opposed to the parent or holding company.