Further Disciplinary Proceedings for Crown Melbourne
The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has hit Crown Melbourne Limited with a second round of disciplinary proceedings.
Less than two months ago, the VGCCC fined Crown Melbourne AU$80 million for illegal use of China UnionPay cards. The second round of proceedings is in relation to Crown’s responsible gambling failures.
The gambling regulator announced at the beginning of the week that it wants information from Crown about its Responsible Service of Gambling obligations. The request is a response to findings from the Royal Commission, which stated that Crown Melbourne was “not adequately supervising or interacting with hundreds or possibly thousands of customers who exhibited signs of problem or risky gambling.”
The Royal Commission cited a number of specific instances, such as a female player who was allowed to gamble at the casino for 96 hours, only stopping for short naps while keeping her seat at the slot machines.
The regulator has said that it will consider any information provided by Crown Melbourne before deciding on an appropriate punishment. Crown Melbourne could be facing a fine of up to AU$100 million, a change to its license, or being censured and ordered to take steps to rectify the situation.
Crown’s responsible gambling obligations are a condition of the casino license, designed to protect vulnerable patrons and to prevent gambling-related harm to patrons, their families, and the community. There is no more important obligation. 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.