A report has revealed Crown Casino lacks appropriate supervision by Victoria’s gambling authority.
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation oversees the only licensed casino in the state but has come under fire for its management.
The VCGLR has been in control since 2012 when it took over the two regulatory bodies – the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation (VCGR) and Responsible Alcohol Victoria (RAV) – which previously regulated Crown Casino.
But the Victorian Auditor-General’s report has found the commission has not paid enough attention to the “key areas of risk” within the casino. These areas include money laundering, responsible gambling practices and even identifying people excluded by Victoria Police, despite VCGLR’s attempt to increase awareness of said risks.
“Its current approach is not adequately risk-based or purposeful and … many important activities have been undertaken only sporadically,” the auditor-general said in the report while regularly referring to the commissions’ predecessors.
“While further work is underway to improve this area of regulation, many important activities have been undertaken only sporadically.”
The report faults the rotating roster as workers aren’t continuously exposed to the casino floor, including the current manager of inspection activities.
“This means that an inspector rostered on at the casino on any particular day may not be rostered back at the casino for 18 days,” the report said.
The auditor-general has also indicated the newly appointed team, solely dedicated to supervising casino operations, hasn’t been adequately trained.
It urges the commission to complete this soon, emphasising the importance of training staff on how to perform the money laundering audit program which has only been conducted three times since 2012.
The report recommends the VCGLR complete its actions to improve supervision at the Melbourne gambling venue, which the commission has accepted.
Another issue of concern raised by the report is liquor licensing. The VCGLR has not been able to prove it has the proper processes in place to examine and assess licensing applications, before approval.
“VCGLR largely accepts the information provided to it by these applicants at face value,” the report said.
“It relies heavily on both the honest of applicants and the diligence of Victoria Police and potential objectors to raise issues about the suitability of applicants.”
Still, the auditor-general revealed the VCGLR had granted licenses to applicants who hadn’t disclosed information regarding associates and past criminal convictions.
The report recommends the VCGLR ensure applicants provides all evidence required before approval and to undertake regular inspections of liquor licencees to ensure all changes are disclosed.
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