VGCCC approved Crown to retain its Melbourne licence

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VGCCC approved Crown to retain its Melbourne licence

The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has granted Australian casino giant Crown Resorts the permission to retain its Crown Melbourne casino license.

This decision follows an extensive review by the Commission, which concluded that Crown Melbourne has taken appropriate measures to rectify the shortcomings highlighted by the 2021 Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and License.

Commission Chair Fran Thorn emphasized that the Royal Commission had revealed various breaches of legal, social, and moral obligations by Crown Melbourne, leading to illicit activities, tax evasion, money laundering, ties with criminal elements, and harm to vulnerable community members. Despite these findings, the Commission has deemed that Crown Melbourne has sufficiently addressed these issues and is suitable to maintain the Melbourne Casino License.

Commission Chair Fran Thorn, said:

Despite the enormity of its findings, the Finkelstein Royal Commission recommended Crown be permitted to continue operating under stringent independent oversight conditions for two years, determining it had the will and capacity to transform itself to again become suitable, which would be to Victoria’s benefit.

In response to the Royal Commission’s findings, the Victorian Government took decisive action by appointing a Special Manager to oversee Crown Melbourne’s operations and introduced the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) as a dedicated regulator for the gambling industry. The VGCCC was granted enhanced powers to regulate the Melbourne casino specifically.

The Commission was tasked with determining whether Crown Melbourne had sufficiently addressed the issues highlighted by the Royal Commission and whether maintaining the Melbourne Casino License was in the public interest. After thorough consideration of various reports, including those from the Special Manager, Commissioner Thorn stated that Crown Melbourne had remedied the identified failings and laid the groundwork for sustainable transformation in the future.

She added:

There was no evidence of maladministration or illegal or improper conduct indicative of the serious and systemic failures previously identified by the Royal Commission, and these failings had been addressed.

With the establishment of a new, specialized Casino Division within the VGCCC, Crown Melbourne will face stringent oversight and enforcement measures to uphold its obligations and ensure ongoing transformation. Commissioner Thorn emphasized that Crown Melbourne must prioritize the safety and well-being of its patrons and staff, as well as compliance with legal and social obligations, to rebuild public trust and maintain its suitability as a casino operator. She warned that the Commission would not hesitate to intervene if the privilege of holding the casino license is misused in the future.