Crown Resorts Keeps Its Melbourne Casino Lisence

The Royal Commission into Melbourne’s Casino has released its report. Crown Resorts, the casino operator, found to have behave in a disgraceful manner. They used practices that were variously illegal and dishonest, unethical, exploitative, and unjustifiable.

Ray Finkelstein, royal commissioner, has determined that Crown’s loss of its licence and its impact on innocent parties as well as the company’s tardy attempts at rehabilitation should mean that it should retain its casino license – at least, for the time being.

This recommendation accept by the Victorian government. It will appoint Stephen O’Bryan, QC, an ex-commissioner with the state’s Anti-Corruption Commission. This person will oversee casino operations for the next two-years.

O’Bryan will produce a report for the Victorian government’s new gambling regulator. This will be in response to deficiencies found with the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation. Crown will be grant a new license by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission.

Crown will no longer be eligible for compensation for regulatory changes that affect its business. The government announced this announcement as well. The maximum penalty for violating the Casino Control Act will be increase from A$1million to A$100million.

All this is great. All of these things should have been in place much earlier. The failure to regulate and the politics behind it made the Crown Melbourne disaster possible and even inevitable. Crown’s influence on politics, as with other gambling companies, has been significant and is a key part of the company’s business model.

The recruitment of politically and socially connect staff and directors done with the intention to influence government. It seems that their goal was to make the Crown too large to regulate. They appear to have succeeded.

Recommendations Made Along The Way Resorts

Some of Commissioner Finkelstein’s key recommendations were not include in the headline announcements by the government. They have been move down the road, at least until next year. These include the ones addressing money laundering and changes to operator’s structures. These include a reduction in maximum shareholdings and independence of the board members and senior management.

Any response to the recommendations focusing on gambling resorts harm prevention or minimisation is also defer. Finkelstein’s emphasis on these will encourage many to support gambling reform. Finkelstein’s recommendations are accept by the government, but it is not clear how it will implement them.

Finkelstein analyzed the dangers of gambling and found that. Crown Melbourne has been claiming for many years that it is the best place to deal with problem gambling. Nothing could be further from truth.

His recommendations for Crown’s paltry responsible gaming program are significant and far-reaching. These include the implementation of a comprehensive precommitment system that requires gamblers to open accounts and set money and time limits. This would create an effective self-exclusion program for the first time. Gamblers would be able ban themselves from gambling and could easily cancel the arrangement.

The Productivity Commission of Australia recommended that a pre-commitment system be implemented in its 2010 gambling report. ClubsNSW led a successful campaign against the Gillard government’s plan to implement this recommendation.

Gambling lobby members will be interested in the Victorian government’s response to Finkelstein’s recommendation. This recommendation goes beyond the Productivity Commission and recommends a default loss limit as well as regulated breaks.

Reversing The Responsible Gaming Discourse

Finkelstein’s report suggests that casinos also have a duty to take all reasonable resorts measures to minimize and prevent harm from gambling. This reverses the current responsible gaming discourse that places the burden on gamblers and, arguably, blames them for their own mistakes. If implemented well, this change could make harm prevention a top priority in gaming regulation.

It also suggests that casino data should be made publicly available for research purposes. This report highlights the difficulty and importance of getting such data. It is almost impossible to evaluate the casino’s social and personal impacts without this data. This would also be a significant step in harm prevention and mitigation efforts. This could be a step forward in anti-money-laundering efforts