VGCCC Launches Third Disciplinary Action against Crown Melbourne
- The latest violation relates to Crown’s use of bank and blank cheques for gambling
- The practice is prohibited under Victoria’s gambling laws
- Crown could be slapped with a $100 million fine arising from this violation
Crown Resorts is facing yet another legal trouble following revelations the casino operator allowed its customers to use bank and blank cheques to play at its Melbourne venue.
The matter is now being probed by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC).
Gamblers Used Bank and Blank Cheques at Crown Melbourne
Crown Melbourne allegedly exchanged bank cheques for chips to be used by gamblers and also gave them credit so they could continue playing. Even without cash, high rollers were permitted to gamble by using bank or blank cheques and at the end of their gambling session, the casino would then record the accumulated amount owed.
Under Victoria’s gambling laws, providing credit to gamble is illegal. This is to ensure that customers don’t gamble beyond their means and casinos are protected from criminal influence and exploitation, according to VGCCC chair Fran Thornton.
By allowing the use of bank and blank cheques for gambling, Crown Melbourne breached that rule and could be forced to pay a fine of up to $100 million.
Back in May, the operator was already fined A$80 million for facilitating illegal fund transfers from China via China UnionPay.
In July, the VGCCC launched another investigation into Crown’s responsible gambling obligations which could lead to another $100 million fine. The casino already issued its response to the matter which is now under consideration by the VGCCC. The regulator said it will announce the results of its investigation once those considerations are completed.
Crown Cooperating with VGCCC
The latest probe into the use of bank and blank cheques at Crown Melbourne is the third disciplinary action launched by the VGCCC against the Australian gambling giant arising from the findings of the royal commission inquiry headed by former federal court judge Ray Finkelstein. The inquiry ultimately found Crown unfit to hold its Melbourne licence.
A spokesperson from Crown said the operator will continue to fully cooperate with the VGCCC on all matters relating to the royal commission report, adding that the company is currently responding to information requests from the regulator in relation to the alleged violation.
After being found unsuitable to hold a gaming licence, Crown was ordered to undertake business-wide comprehensive reforms, including the implementation of a remediation program designed to create a safe and responsible gaming environment. Crown said delivering the reforms remains its top priority at the moment.