The operational licence of Crown Casino has been renewed despite a recent review indicting the company for not doing enough to promote responsible gambling.
A recent five-year review by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), among other things, found Crown was lagging in its compliance and efforts in dealing with problem gambling.
Nonetheless, the regulator found the operator was still fit to hold the state’s sole casino licence.
After the review of Crown’s licence, it was established that “failures of governance and risk management, contributed to compliance slippages”.
The VCGLR chastised the operator for its lack of innovation towards responsible gambling and called for a “new or refreshed” strategy.
The VCGLR has fined Crown Casino on several occasions for breaches. These include:
A $300,000 fine for the unapproved removal of betting options on 17 poker machines, a practice called “blanking buttons”.
Crown was also fined $560,000 for eight compliance breaches including allowing minors to gamble and $150,000 in December 2017, for failing to comply with Victoria’s junket regulations, including not keeping records of individuals’ and their spending.
In July 2013, VCGLR fined Crown $35,000 for allowing minors to gamble and again in December 2013, January 2014, and August 2014 for the same offence.
Crown Resorts to accept recommendations
Australia’s biggest casino, Crown Casino Melbourne, has accepted 20 recommendations made by the VCGLR.
These include improving and enforcing measures to deal with problem gambling, one of which means Crown has to prevent problem gamblers from visiting the casino.
The chairperson of Crown, John Alexander, said the company improved its responsible gambling program during the review period and would ensure future improvements.
“Crown recognises the importance of responsible gaming measures to the future of the industry and is committed to further engagement with relevant stakeholders and development and refinement of its responsible gaming program informed, as far as possible, by research and expert opinion,” he said.