Australia’s Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) Monday released a statement outlining that casino operator Crown Melbourne has been fined 120 million Australian dollars ($77.2 million) for failure to comply with Responsible Service of Gambling.
Australian states have their own state specific regulations and legislation to regulate the gambling services. In Victoria, there are numerous pieces of legislation regulating gambling in the forms of online gambling, advertisements of gambling and casinos. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, estimates that Australians lost approximately $25 billion in legal forms of gambling between 2018-2019 alone, “representing the largest per capita losses in the world.”
The VGCCC found that the Crown Melbourne allowed customers to bet without break. Some customers were allowed to gamble for 24 hours straight. The VGCCC found that there was no action taken to stop customers from participating in continuous or “automated play” through the use of plastic pics to keep machines playing.
The penalty is a record high in VGCCC enforcement history. The Chairperson of the VGCCC, Fran Thorn, said that the fine “will send a powerful message to Crown that the Commission will not tolerate misconduct that exposes our community to increased risks of gambling related harm.”
VGCCC outlines the reasons for the decision of the non-compliance, and concludes the statement by stating: “[T]he VGCCC is also considering further disciplinary proceedings against Crown related to the other findings of the Royal Commission.”
The Crown Resorts Group, which has locations across Australia, was acquired this year in June by Blackstone, an American investment company. The Crown Resorts Group is currently under investigations for numerous legal issues across Australia.