The Queensland to pass new gambling restrictions

  • 4 min read
The Queensland to pass new gambling restrictions

Queensland Parliament recently approved legislation aimed at curbing cash gambling at casinos. These new laws are designed to bolster regulatory oversight, fortify the integrity of Queensland’s gambling establishments, and prioritize the reduction of gambling-related harm.

The reforms empower the government to enact the remaining suggestions from the Review of The Star Entertainment Group’s Queensland operations led by the Honourable Robert Gotterson AO KC. This signifies the second set of significant legislative amendments to the Casino Control Act 1982 within the last two years.

The legislation mandates casinos to:

  • implement mandatory carded play for certain games and activities, with restrictions on the use of cash, as well as mandatory pre-commitment, with time limits and enforced player breaks
  • issue player cards and collect information relating to play and provide certain de-identified data to the regulator
  • comply with an enforceable code of conduct to be defined in a regulation
  • pay a supervision levy to the government to cover the costs of casino regulation and to fund harm minimisation programs
  • take steps to exclude people who are banned from interstate casinos by an interstate police commissioner.

The legislation heightens regulatory oversight, mandating Queensland casinos to undergo a periodic assessment of their operations and suitability every five years. Additionally, outdated and potentially stigmatizing language has been eliminated from the legislation.

Furthermore, the reforms bolster and modernize the powers of casino inspectors, streamlining the process for requesting information and granting them the authority to interview minors and excluded individuals on casino premises (if found on-site).

The recent legislation marks the second significant update to the Casino Control Act in the last two years.

In 2022, prior reforms by the government eliminated hurdles to disciplinary measures, ensuring substantial penalties could be imposed on casinos when necessary.

These initial reforms empowered the government to levy fines of up to $100 million on casino operators and appoint special managers to supervise their activities. They played a pivotal role in the disciplinary actions taken against The Star Entertainment Group in December 2022.

Quotes attributable to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Yvette D’Ath, said:

Queenslanders have the right to expect casinos are being operated lawfully and in a way that minimises harm.
The new laws will help ensure Queensland casinos operate with integrity and that they have measures in place to prevent gambling harm and combat money laundering.
Importantly, these reforms pave the way to implementing the remaining recommendations of the Gotterson Review, with the government now focused on developing the regulations required to enforce these reforms.