30 April 2023
Crown Resorts Fined $30m by VGCCC for Breaching Casino Control Act 1991 with “Blank Cheque” Policy
The Victoria Gaming and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has imposed a fine of A$30m on Crown Resorts, a land-based casino operator, for its violation of the Victorian Casino Control Act 1991. The casino operator allowed its patrons to gamble at its Melbourne Casino using blank cheques made out to themselves, breaching the prohibition on the use of cheques at a casino. This practice poses a risk of money laundering and gambling harm to the patrons, compromising the integrity, safety, and fairness of the casino.
The VGCCC has imposed a large fine due to the long-running practice at the casino, which subverted important controls. This is the third time that the VGCCC has issued a financial penalty to Crown due to conduct unearthed by the Royal Commission. The VGCCC has ordered Crown to ban the blank cheque practices at its Melbourne casino and review its current policies and procedures for accepting blank cheques.
The VGCCC has expressed concerns over the findings of the 2021 Royal Commission into the business’s Crown Melbourne property, which suggested that Crown likely accepted blank cheques in exchange for chips. While the VGCCC has decided that there was insufficient evidence to establish that the casino engaged in this activity, it would be a serious contravention of the Act if such a practice occurred.
A Crown Resorts spokesperson has accepted the outcome of the fine and stated that the casino operator has ceased the practices and implemented significant improvements to reduce and prevent risk across its business. Crown Resorts is driving whole-of-company reform through its Future Crown program to uplift its culture and build a Crown that exceeds the expectations of its stakeholders and the community. Crown Resorts will comply with the directions issued and work constructively with the VGCCC and the Government to address this and other issues raised as part of the Victorian Royal Commission.