This page contains transcripts for the 'About the VCGLR' videos:
The VCGLR is Victoria's liquor and gambling regulator.
Gambling and liquor industries play a key part in Victoria's hospitality, live music and entertainment industries.
Both gambling and liquor products have inherent risks associated with them and the potential for harm. So should those products be abused, then the harm increases.
We are responsible for regulating to ensure that the supply of alcohol and gambling in Victoria supports the community expectations and minimises the harm that can be experienced.
It was established by Parliament to replace the two existing regulators was very much a new organisation it wasn't the bringing together of the two existing.
Like all new organisations going through an establishment phase is really challenging. But what it's allowed us to do is have specialists in both sides of business and bring those together a subject matter experts.
Collaboration is a theme that has developed much more strongly since the establishment of the Commission.
It's been able to integrate the roles and responsibilities quite efficiently at the start and bring the staff together for a common purpose.
The other aspect was how are we going to regulate the industries as an integrated regulator?
Before the organisation had a regulatory approach certainly we went about our business of assessing and attending the applications, but there was a lack of consistency.
The liquor side of the business had one way of dealing with risk and harm and the gambling side of the business had a different way of dealing with risk and harm and so we knew that we needed to put in place a framework in order to continuously develop our regulatory practice.
It sets a clear, transparent foundation and strategy for what approach the organisation goes about its business.
It lets staff know, the general public, the regulated industry how it's going to do its business.
The future really is about working with partners and it's about developing intelligence about where we can effectively put our resources to achieve the best outcomes in terms of reducing harm across the community.
We can really see the benefit that we're bringing and the outcomes from the work that we're doing. We process approximately 20,000 applications every year, we regulate over 23,000 liquor licences, 600 keno outlets, 30,000 gaming machines; including the Melbourne casino and 800 wagering agents.
We can always improve on what we're doing and we strive to do that and I think the future of Victoria's industries which gambling and liquor form a part is very bright.
We have in Victoria very, very vibrant industries in hospitality and entertainment. Gambling and liquor form a part of those.
We know that these industries contribute to the economic
benefit of Victorians, but there are harm aspects to it and so the community expects that the venues that they get to go into are well-run, that they're compliant and that they deal with the harms that can present when running those types of venues.
The role of trying to articulate what the regulatory framework that we were going to operate was an important mechanism in trying to
get common views from the staff about the way they should respond.
It was actually out of that the consultation with staff in this early phase where the idea of developing a regulatory approach for the organisation was born. So what we noticed was that the liquor side of the business had one way of dealing with risk and harm and the gambling side of the business had a different way of dealing with risk and harm and so we knew that we needed to put in place a framework in order to continuously develop our regulatory practice.
A regulatory approach is a balancing of the need to reduce regulatory costs and let the industries get on with what they do well, while at the same time minimising harm.
The agency has set the approach which is common across most regulators to provide those regulated entities those licensees and venue operators with some guidance on what we will do in the event of compliance and the escalation that will be taken could they move away from their obligations.
And that's the expectation that government has set for industry and that's the expectation we uphold in the work that we do as the regulator.
The regulatory approach is underpinned by five main principles which is risk-based, collaborative, transparent, targeted and proactive. Risk-based regulation has been around for a number of years, so really what it means is that you look at the highest risks and you allocate more resources into those highest risks, and that you're putting processes in place to deal with what is low risk.
This can be physical harm in terms of assaults and incidents occurring at licensed premises, could be harm associated with the irresponsible supply and use of alcohol or the responsible service of gambling.
So when we released the regulatory approach, one of the things that we realised is that we didn't have a consistent language in the organisation when we talked about risk.
We got professor Malcolm Sparrow from Harvard University in to run workshops with a large number of the staff and that was so we could speak the same language when we talked about risk.
What we found in Licensing in relation to how we would process and determine high risk applications while certainly scrutiny was more intense, there was greater rigour in how going about assessing the application but it still lacked a level of consistency of the importance of having a new risk-based framework it actually facilitates greater consistency as to the manner in which we apply this greater rigour and this greater scrutiny.
We've seen that if a licensee gets the administrative things right but they are actually operating a better business so our education approach targets the low level issues so we go out and visit and check for the administrative type things that licensees might get wrong.
Without a strong education program the VCGLR would actually have to dedicate a lot of its resources and take more interventionist approaches to industry and licensees.
So the licensing, education and compliance components work in an interconnected way.
The key to an effective management is through responsible service and where we see venues that are well-managed and have a very good approach, abide by their licence conditions, they're good venues they're well-run people feel safe and it attracts a very good crowd.
We're being proactive, we're being targeted and we're really trying to go out and help licensees do the right thing.
We see technology improvements as a great way for the VCGLR to operate more efficiently. What we're seeing in both the gambling and liquor industries is innovation and so in response to that innovation we have to be smarter about what we do.
The hive tool is an example of innovation in our organisation.
It is the central repository of all currently known harm data for licensed premises in Victoria. If you went to Victoria Police you would get Victoria police data if you went to the council, we get council data, if you went to emergency services you get ambulance data, but if you come to the VCGLR, you get it all; and we use that data to prioritise the venues that we visit, when we visit them and why we are visiting.
The hive tool determines where risks and harm are more acute and that allows us to task our staff to those areas now it's not just a geographic area it may be a theme in a particular area.
Their responsible service of alcohol or use of alcohol in associated with sporting clubs in a particular town or locality.
A high-risk venue that may see inspectors coming out more often they may see inspectors coming along with Victoria Police in a joint operation or sometimes with local council as well it's a really smart way to you know work with a finite number of resources.
I would say the innovation and the strategy that is proven through the amount of contact we have with other regulators either interstate and even international that have seen the product that we've created and are now attempting to either emulate it or are asking us for help in some way shape or form to say well how did you do this? How did you do that?
Hive is an example of where our analysts have developed the tool, develop the algorithms themselves you know using new software that we've been able to purchase in order to present the data in a way that's suitable for a licensing officer or a compliance inspector or even our education team so what was driven out of compliance is now a tool that we can use across the whole organisation.
The VCGLRs education strategy is a multi-faceted approach to education it involves areas from across the organisation and we use a number of tools and channels to provide the right information to the licensees so that they can remain compliant.
Another key in the education strategy is working with our internal stakeholders so a lot of work is done with compliance to identify high-risk issues where we run campaigns so for example around schoolies and 0-week we've run campaigns around sort of the pubs and venues around universities just letting them know that these major events are happening and what they need to do and things they need to look out for which is mainly sort of underage and excessive drinking.
We are going to increase our use of data and systems to ensure that our campaigns and our education work is targeted.
In our corporate plan we are now dipping our toe in the water to measure outcomes and measuring outcomes is a real challenge for regulators and while we're not quite sure we've got our targets right we really wanted to put ourselves out in that public arena to say this is what we're trying to do this is what we are we're trying to reduce harm and we will, you know, report back to you publicly about how well we're doing our job what we're starting to see is I think better outcomes to address the harm but also a reduction in burden for licensees because we've been able to streamline our processes and you know we don't need to go out to venues that we know are well-run and are doing the right thing as often as we would go to a venue that is higher risk.
The industry structure is really changing in terms of hospitality and liquor so I think the future is that VCGLR has to stay attuned to that environment it has to stay conscious of what's going on with those that it works with it doesn't be in their pockets but it's got to understand the way that that's responding we see the particular strengths and sometimes weaknesses of the regulation.
We'll be able to demonstrate a reduction in harm at certain locations it moves us into the crime reporting sphere that's a scary sphere 10,000 inspections is a lot easier than saying we've got a problem and we're going to fix it but I think with the push to innovation what we've been able to achieve in only two years here we are certainly in the in a position now where we can start testing the boundary on how we measure our success and that is certainly one that I'd like to explore.