The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has commenced a second round of disciplinary proceedings against Crown Melbourne Limited, this time in relation to its responsible gambling failures.
Less than two months after whacking Crown Melbourne with an AU$80 million fine for the illegal use of China UnionPay cards – a process uncovered during last year’s Royal Commission – Victoria’s new gambling regulator announced Monday that it has requested information from Crown on its Responsible Service of Gambling obligations.
This, it confirmed, is also in response to the findings of the Royal Commission, which included “not adequately supervising or interacting with hundreds or possibly thousands of customers who exhibited signs of problem or risky gambling.”
Those instances uncovered by the Royal Commission included the case of a female gambler who was allowed to gamble at Crown Melbourne for 96 hours straight, stopping only for short naps while seated at slot machines.
The VGCCC said it will consider the information provided by Crown before determining the appropriate disciplinary action to take, which could include imposing a fine of up to AU$100 million, varying the casino licence or censuring Crown and directing it to take rectification steps.
“Crown’s responsible gambling obligations are a condition of the casino licence, designed to protect vulnerable patrons and to prevent gambling related harm to patrons, their families and the community. There is no more important obligation,” VGCCC Chair Fran Thorn said.
“We heard many distressing stories at the Royal Commission of vulnerable patrons being encouraged to gamble beyond their means. The VGCCC will therefore be unflinching in its resolve to deal with the issues uncovered at the Royal Commission regarding Crown’s approach to responsible gambling, and to ensure the casino operator acts in line with its legal obligations and the community’s expectations.”
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