Crown Casino in Melbourne was fined AUD$120 million (€77.6 million) for "systemic failures" in its social responsibility measures.
The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) stated in a statement that disciplinary action had been initiated against Crown Melbourne for failing to meet its Responsible Service of Gambling obligations.
Crown was found to have violated its code of conduct for gambling commitments over an extended period of time by "consistently neglecting to intervene" to prevent gambling harm.
Similarly, Crown failed to comply with a legislative directive from the regulator to take "all reasonable steps" to prevent patrons from using "plastic picks and other devices" to activate "automatic play" on electronic gaming machines.
Commission Chairperson Fran Thorn said: “At the Royal Commission, Crown accepted the Responsible Service of Gambling as both a legal obligation and a condition of its social licence to operate.”
“For a long time, Crown failed in its legal and moral obligation to ensure it provided its gambling products and services in a manner which minimised potential harm to its patrons, their families, friends and communities,” said Ms Thorn.
She added: “The record fines totalling $120M that we have imposed on Crown today will send a powerful message to Crown that the Commission will not tolerate misconduct that exposes our community to increased risks of gambling related harm.”
“These were not isolated breaches. They were part of a pattern of extensive, sustained and systemic failures by Crown that spanned roughly 12 years… We urge all gambling licence holders to read this decision,” she stressed.
“This disciplinary action also sounds a warning to all the Victorian gambling industry that we expect them to do everything they can to minimise the harmful impacts of gambling. The Commission will be resolute in pursuing our new requirements to regulate for harm minimisation, and the industry can expect further action from the Commission on this matter.”
The Commission fined Crown AUD$80M (€51,7M) earlier this year for its China Union Pay procedure. The Commission cautioned that it was also contemplating additional disciplinary measures against Crown based on additional findings.
Separately, the Australian casino operator Star Entertainment Group announced on Monday that it is facing a second class action lawsuit alleging that it failed to comply with AML/CFT disclosure rules.
According to Star, the class action contends that between March 2016 and March 2022, Star made "misleading representations" regarding its systems and procedures for compliance with AML/CFT responsibilities.
The company stated that it will defend against the class action.
By fLEXI tEAM