Tough new laws set to restrict gambling at Melbourne’s Crown casino

Aussies will have to declare how much cash they are prepared to lose before being able to gamble at Melbourne‘s Crown casino under tough new state laws.

A $1000 limit will also be introduced for cash transactions at the casino within 24 hours, while patrons will have to show ID to gamble or pocket winnings greater than $1000.

The state government is set to introduce the new laws in today parliament after a Royal Commission exposed serious money laundering occurring at the venue.
Laws are set to restrict gambling at Crown Casino in Melbourne. (The Age)

The legislation will implement a further twelve recommendations from the Royal Commission, designed to stop money laundering and protect punters from gambling-related harm.

It will mean the Melbourne casino has the toughest restrictions of any in the country.

In an Australian first, punters will have to track the time and money they are mandatory spending via pre-commitment on all electronic gaming machines at the casino.

These pre-commitment requirements will be in place for the casino’s pokies by the end of 2023.

However, the casino will only have to complete the full reforms set out in the laws by December 2025, with the government saying this timeframe is to allow for the development of technologies that do not yet exist.

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To prevent inappropriate interference in the casino’s running identified by the Royal Commission, the casino’s board and senior management will be made independent and accountable to the casino operator instead of a parent or holding company.

A person or entity that wishes to own more than five per cent of the casino operator or its holding company will also require the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission’s approval.

Crown will also be made to pay for the cost of regulating the casino, with a supervision charge set to be reintroduced.

To prevent the illegal transfer of funds through and within the casino, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission has already directed Crown Melbourne to hold only a single bank account for patrons to deposit funds.

  New data reveals over $52 million was gambled and lost on pokie machines in Brisbane last month, over $71,500 an hour.
Punters will have to set their maximum spend limit before they start gambling. (9News)

Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne said the legislation was “to ensure the disgraceful conduct uncovered by the Royal Commission will never happen again in Melbourne”.

A government release has said that ‘Crown Melbourne has one chance only to reform its operations and return to suitability to hold the Melbourne casino license’.

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“If the casino operator does not demonstrate that it is suitable to hold the license, its license will be automatically canceled in 2024,” the statement reads.

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