Crown Melbourne’s casino failure to promote responsible gaming enough has cost it a record $120 million in fines. Specifically, it allowed people to gamble for more than 24 hours.
Crown has been fined twice by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) for its continued misconduct.
The fine was for two distinct offenses, based on the royal commission’s findings. It indicates that the gambling giant has paid $200 million in fines since the regulator increased its authority to enforce the rules.
It is the first time the commission has imposed the maximum $100 million fine against the Crown Casino.
“The record-setting sanctions of $120 million imposed on Crown today convey a strong message that the Commission will not tolerate irresponsible behavior that increases the risk of gambling-related damage to our community,” Fran Thorn, head of the VGCCC, said.
Ms. Thorn stated that the concerns were not isolated incidents.
“They were pervasive, protracted, and systematic failures by the government that lasted nearly a decade,” she added.
Twelve years before 2021, a royal commission determined that the Southbank casino had violated its standards regarding providing responsible gaming services.
It was determined that the casino failed to protect its consumers from gambling-related losses and disregarded a regulatory directive.
According to Thorn, the casino prioritized making as much money as possible over protecting clients. The VGCCC stated that clients could sometimes wager for longer than 24 hours.
The regulator also assessed a $20 million punishment because the casino did not comply with a regulation prohibiting consumers from using plastic picks and other items to make pokie machines function as “automatic play.”
The little plastic pieces could jam or stick buttons, allowing customers to continue playing. Some clients were even provided with branded picks.
“There are stories of some who gambled nonstop for two or three days, those who stole to continue gambling, and those who lost their families due to addiction.
People gambled for extended durations even though little, if anything, was done to stop them. These are true accounts of actual harm,” Thorn stated.
Reforms In the Making
According to the 2021 royal commission into the casino operator and license, the Crown did not change its methods.
Customers could still play numerous machines by inserting credit cards via the poker machine’s button, despite being told not to. Thorn stated, “Crown’s conduct undermined its claims to be a global leader in responsible gambling.”
The fines were implemented after a royal inquiry in Victoria, Australia, investigated the Crown’s actions in Melbourne that same year.
It was determined that the Southbank casino had repeatedly violated the Responsible Gambling Service Code of Conduct. It was also stated that the casino did not adequately protect its consumers from gambling-related harm and disregarded a legal direction from the regulator.
In its final report, the commission deemed the behavior of Crown Resort to be reprehensible. As per the investigation, these behaviors were illegal, dishonest, unethical, and exploitative.
At least for the time being, the former federal court judge Ray Finkelstein who runs the royal commission, determined that Crown’s casino license should not be revoked, for now, since it would be detrimental to the company’s finances, cause harm to innocent individuals, and take too long to get back on track.
The VGCCC stated that the Crown had agreed to the punishment and that further improvement efforts were necessary. The Victorian government supported this concept.
Instead, they engaged a special manager for two years to oversee the casino. He will compose a report for the state’s new regulator, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission, which will determine the Crown’s license status.
It is the second time the VGCCC has used its new enforcement powers against the casino operator.
The government penalized the Crown $80 million earlier this year for operating a structure that unlawfully made it feasible to receive funds from China. The VGCCC discovered the illicit arrangement in May, which offered Chinese individuals access to around $164 million and netted them $32 million in profits.
Last Updated on by Ryan