Vic casino may need own regulator: Andrews

·2-min read

The fallout from a scathing NSW report into gaming giant Crown has spread to Victoria, with suggestions Melbourne's casino may need its own separate regulator.

The report by independent Commissioner Patricia Bergin, published on Tuesday, found Crown facilitated money laundering through subsidiaries' bank accounts and failed to act when it was drawn to their attention.

It also put its staff in China in danger of being detained and dealt with junket operators it had been told were involved in organised crime, Ms Bergin found.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the report would be thoroughly examined, but it was too early to say whether Crown should keep its Victorian gaming licence.

"We do have to just take the time to read the thing and understand it," he said.

The premier suggested Melbourne's casino may need a separate authority to keep an eye on it.

"Casino regulation may need its own bespoke authority ... that may be something that we need to do," Mr Andrews said.

Opposition upper house leader David Davis said the state's gaming regulator is too soft.

"It's clearly untenable that an arrangement is in place where in one state such serious findings have been found by independent investigators ... and it appears the soft tame-cat regulator here in Victoria is not strong enough to get to the bottom of similar issues," he said.

The premier rejected suggestions the Victorian gaming regulator had failed to do its job.

But in December 2020, the government asked the regulator to bring forward its five-year review of Crown's licence, after admissions were made during the NSW inquiry.

An independent commissioner will be appointed to conduct the review, which is expected to be completed this year.

In the meantime, Victorian Greens want Crown's licence revoked.

"Victoria shouldn't need another review to tell us what we've known all along. Crown should be stripped of its Victorian licence immediately," party leader Samantha Ratnam said.

Independent federal MP Andrew Wilkie has called upon the Victorian and WA premiers to suspend Crown's casino licence and establish their own commissions of inquiry.