Crown Melbourne To Pay Record-Breaking AU$120 Million For Multiple Violations
There was a real scandal in the gambling community of Australia this week. The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) issued a resolution announcing a monetary penalty for Crown Melbourne casino for violation of its Responsible Gambling policy. The operator will now be obliged to pay a record-breaking $AU120 million fine.
What Is The Operator Accused Of?
According to the VGCCC’s statement, this fine covers two serious violations. Crown was found guilty of breaching its own Responsible Gambling standards. For many years the operator was ignoring the need to prevent the bettors’ problem gambling behaviour. Problem customers could gamble without breaks for long periods of time (sometimes more than 24 hours). Sonja Bauer, Crown Melbourne’s general manager for responsible gambling, provided evidence that one of the bettors was once gambling for 34 hours straight.
Moreover, the operator also violated the safety protocols established by the regulator. Crown failed to prevent their customers from using lock picks to gamble on certain electronic gaming machines for free.
The VGCCC Chairman Fran Thorn reminded that Crown accepted the responsible gambling standards as both a legal obligation and a mandatory requirement of its social license to operate. He also said that this fine is a strong message that the Commission will not tolerate such misconduct.
This is not the first time Crown faces such sanctions. The casino was already hit with a AU$80 million punishment after getting caught accepting illegal China Union Pay cards for transactions.
The Deadline Is Set
The VGCCC has appointed a supervisor who is currently managing Crown Melbourne’s operations. 12 additional staff members were also hired to monitor compliance with security and responsible gambling protocols. The manager will submit a final report to the VGCCC in early 2024 to assist the regulator in determining whether Crown has returned to suitability as a license holder. If Crown fails to comply with the regulatory authority's order, it will be subject to even tougher sanctions.
The Laws Are Working All Over The World
Gambling operators around the world are constantly faced with a huge number of different requirements, for non-compliance with which they can be fined or even deprived of their license. It's not always just about security protocols. For example, in Ontario, Canada, bookmakers are often punished for too aggressive advertising campaigns, including inappropriate social media activity, promoting free bets, provoking outdoor ads etc.
At Responsible Gambling, we strongly believe that gambling can and should be a great hobby. But in order for your gaming experience to remain safe, you must always approach the game responsibly. Carefully study the rules, set financial and time limits and never exceed them, and always stick with the licensed operators. This is extremely important since these platforms provide all the necessary tools for a safe game.