The decision by Victoria’s state gaming regulator to issue Crown Resorts with a $1 million fine for failure to fulfil its junket compliance obligations has been met with mixed opinions.
What is it?
Inside Asian Gaming welcomed Peter Cohen, former CEO and Executive Commissioner of Victoria’s state gaming regulator, to offer his opinion on the recent developments and how legislation might change in light of recent events.
Who is it?
Ben Blaschke, Managing Editor of Inside Asian Gaming
Peter Cohen, Director of Regulatory Affairs at The Agenda Group
What is being said?
Discussing the recent sanction imposed on Crown Resorts in April, Cohen noted: “It’s a stiff fine, there’s no question about that. It’s the largest fine that the Victorian state gaming regulator has ever imposed on Crown. The previous largest was $300,000 I think, so we’re talking about something more than three times the size of the previous largest fine. Some people might say it doesn’t seem large enough but the reality is that it’s the largest fine the regulator could impose. The law says the maximum fine possible is $1 million.
“The only other option available to the regulator to be tougher than a $1 million fine is to either suspend or cancel the license. They’re the nuclear options and I’m not saying they weren’t thought about by the regulator but clearly, a $1 million fine tells us that the regulator is severely displeased with Crown’s behaviour.”
When asked if the sanction will achieve its purpose, Cohen added: “The difficulty is that the $1 million is written into legislation. To change that, you’d have to go back to the parliament to get approved. That can happen but it has been in the Act since the Act was proclaimed, which is now 30 years old. Clearly $1 million then was a significantly different number in real terms to $1 million today.
“I could see the parliament deciding to either raise the maximum or possibly just get rid of the maximum limit and leave it open to the regulator to fine whatever it thinks is an appropriate number. I don’t know if the government is considering that but it would make sense to me that they would.”
Why should I watch it?
To learn about recent developments in the Australian gaming space and hear an industry professional’s take on the news.
Where can I see more?
Source: IAG YouTube Channel