Vic Crown inquiry gets funding extension

·1-min read

An inquiry into whether Crown can retain a licence for its Melbourne casino has been extended and its multi-million dollar budget nearly doubled.

The Victorian government has granted a request by Raymond Finkelstein, who is heading the royal commission.

His investigation has grown to include a wider range of matters than originally intended, because of the serious nature of the allegations made.

The state government has almost doubled funding from $10 million to $19.75 million while extending the inquiry until mid-October this year.

The inquiry, which began in February, was due to be completed by August 1.

Crown Melbourne has been accused during the inquiry of predatory behaviour, including allowing a gambler who could not repay a $100,000 debt to keep gambling and that a casino VIP was allowed to gamble for 34 hours straight.

Mr Finkelstein was also told Crown Melbourne had only 12 staff employed to ensure an estimated 64,000 daily visitors gambled responsibly.

"It doesn't make sense to me. It can't be done. It is physically, humanly impossible," the commissioner said after hearing the figures.

Until December 2019, Crown Melbourne employed just seven responsible gambling advisors, he was told.