Crown Resorts (Crown) has been given two separate fines, totaling a record AUS$ 120m (US$77.4m/£67.5m/€77.5m/N34.3bn) by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC), for a series of gambling failings in the state.
The VGCCC in making its decision, noted that Crown in a period spanning almost 12 years, has consistently failed to intervene in the prevention of gambling harm, at its Crown Melbourne land-based casino, in Victoria.
Crown was also found to have allowed customers, to frequently gamble for long periods without a break, which can sometimes last for more than 24 hours, and has equally failed to comply with a statutory directive that requires all reasonable steps to be taken, to prevent customers from using plastic picks and other devices, to simulate automatic play when gambling on certain electronic gaming machines, also known as pokies.
Crown has accepted that responsible service of gambling, is both a legal obligation and a condition of its social licence to operate in the state; the disciplinary action taken and also the need for the organisation to continue improving on its reforms that will address these issues and other responsible gambling obligations.
According to Fran Thorn, the VGCCC chairperson; the Crown has over the years continuously failed in its legal and moral obligation, and the record fines was imposed, to send a powerful message to them that the Commission will not tolerate misconduct that exposes the community to increased risks of gambling related harm.
Crown’s total fines in Victoria this year, now stand at AUS$200m; as the Commission in May, handed them a fine of AUS$80m, in relation to their China Union Pay process, where customers were illegally allowed between 2012 and 2016, to use CUP credit or debit cards to access funds to gamble.
The Commission intends to be firm, in pursuing its new requirements to regulate the industry for harm minimization.