By Andy Young
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) has said that it welcomes the Victorian Auditor-General’s (AG) report and vowed to build a smarter and more effective organisation.
As reported by TheShout earlier this week, Victoria’s AG published a report into Regulating Gambling and Liquor, which was critical of the progress made so far by VCGLR, which was formed in 2012.
While highlighting that that Commission has lost a lot of experience and expertise as part of redundancy moves, the AG said that VCGLR’s licensing division has made “limited progress” and that “VCGLR has not adequately monitored compliance with gambling and liquor legislation”.
A spokesperson for VCGLR has told TheShout that the Commission has welcomed the report and that while there is still significant work to be done, the AG did highlight that work is already being done to improve the situation.
“VCGLR welcomes the Victorian Auditor-General’s report into Regulating Gambling and Liquor,” the spokesperson said.
“The VCGLR will use this report, along with the results of the Chair’s 2015 review of operations, to continue to build a smarter, more effective organisation.
“The report shows that significant work remains to establish the VCGLR as a modern world class regulator but importantly, it also notes that there is a range of initiatives already underway to improve performance.”
The spokesperson added: The VCGLR has undergone significant challenges since its establishment in 2012, including a thirty per cent reduction of budget and staff.
“Some of the issues raised in this report and associated recommendations will have further resource implications which the VCGLR is yet to work through.”
The VCGLR also highlighted to TheShout that the AG’s report notes that the Commission has:
- made progress over the past two years in reorganising the licensing division, training staff and providing guidance material to support a more risk-based approach to licensing activities;
- over the past two years, taken the positive step of providing training to cross-skill all licensing staff in both gambling and liquor.
- undertaken a wide range of actions over the past 12 months to review and improve its compliance activities so they are more responsive and risk based;
- acted to address weaknesses in its quality assurance for licensing processes;
- started a wide range of compliance actions over the past 12 months to review and improve its activities so they are more flexible and risk based;
- acted to address the need for a coherent organisation-wide approach to casino supervision; and
- improved relationships with the department and Victoria Police and are effective in supporting our role as regulator.
VCGLR was formed in 2012 when the Victorian Government brought together the functions of two predecessor regulators — the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation (VCGR) and Responsible Alcohol Victoria (RAV).