The Victorian Gambling and Casino and Control Commission (VGCCC) has formally directed Crown Melbourne to introduce a series of harm minimisation and anti-money laundering measures.

The directive means that by December of this year, Crown must implement mandatory ‘carded play’ on all of its electronic gaming machines (EGMs). This practically means that gaming on EGMs at the casino will be linked to the identity of the patron, which VGCCC states is ‘a key anti-money laundering measure’.

Secondly, the casino will also have to implement use of the YourPlay system for mandatory player pre-commitment, which means that players set their time and spend limits prior to the start of gambling. Players will not be able to continue to play beyond their set limits.

Both these directives were recommended by the 2021 Royal Commission into the Casino Operator Licence.

Crown Melbourne CEO, Mike Volkert, welcomed the directive.  

“These industry-leading reforms are an essential part of Crown’s ambition to be a world leader in safe and responsible gambling and entertainment,” Volkert said.

“We will work collaboratively with the Victorian Government and our regulators to implement the new and enhanced gambling safety measures, including mandatory carded play and mandatory pre-commitment at Crown Melbourne.

“The measures focus on the wellbeing of our guests and significantly enhance our ability to prevent and reduce gambling harm,” he concluded.

The Crown has also proposed further actions beyond those recommended by the Royal Commission, which the VGCCC has commended.

One such action is the removal of unrestricted gaming machines from the general floor, meaning they will only be accessible in ‘high-roller’ areas. These machines will also be removed from continuous play function (whereby a patron can hold down a button and constantly gamble) and imposes the minimum spin rate (the time between spins) applied to other Victorian EGMs.

The Crown has also said it will limit the maximum credits able to be loaded into a machine to $1,000, bringing it in line with other gaming venues in the state.

Fran Thorn, VGCCC Chairperson commented on the directive, and Crown’s response.

“We have again demonstrated our strong commitment to minimising gambling harm and reducing the risk of money laundering by going above and beyond Royal Commission recommendations in our Direction to Crown,” Thorn said.

“We were pleased to see Crown step up and identify additional measures beyond those recommended by the Royal Commission to improve the safety and integrity of gaming at the Melbourne casino.”

Nevertheless, the regulator will continue to keep a watchful eye.

“We will be carefully monitoring the implementation of these changes,” Thorn concluded.

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