The New South Wales government will be backing all 19 of the Bergin inquiry’s recommendations for casino regulation in the state, as well as Crown Resorts’ fitness for a restricted gaming facility licence.
This includes the creation of an Independent Casino Commission, a dedicated, stand-alone, expert casino regulator with the appropriate framework to address current and emerging gaming and casino concerns, as well as a number of legal revisions.
Redesigned regulatory structure
Victor Dominello, minister for digital and customer service said: “The NSW government response to the Bergin inquiry will see a redesigned regulatory structure for casinos in NSW, with a clearer focus on addressing money laundering risks inherently associated with casino activities.
“It is critical [that] the management and operation of casinos in NSW are free from criminal influence and exploitation.
“Committing to implement the 19 recommendations from Justice Bergin’s report is an important first step in the process of reforming the casino sector.
“The new casino regulator will be subject to detailed design work and will be funded via the casino supervisory levy.
“In addition, we will continue to monitor the current casino Royal Commissions in Victoria and Western Australia and consider any proposals for regulatory reform recommended by those inquiries, including stronger gambling harm minimisation measures.”
Crown resorts inquiry
This comes after an inquiry led by former Supreme Court Judge Patricia Bergin found Crown Resorts inadequate to operate the $2.2 billion Crown Sydney Hotel Resort, citing poor corporate governance, deficient risk-management structures and processes, and a bad corporate culture.
The Casino Control Act should be changed to restrict casino operators in New South Wales from working with junket operators, in addition to a review of the company’s board.
A person may not buy, hold, or transfer a 10 percent or more interest in a licensee of a casino in New South Wales, or any holding company of a licensee, without the previous consent of the ICC, according to the report’s several recommendations.
The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority continues to evaluate Crown’s fitness for a NSW limited gaming facility licence, and is responsible for deciding the conditions under which the Crown Sydney gaming facility may open.