IMPORTANT NOTICE: A Declared State of Disaster is currently in place across Victoria. See: COVID-19 information for licensees
The Melbourne Casino Operator (Crown) is regulated by a range of state and federal government regulators and law enforcement agencies. Our role is to regulate gambling and liquor licensees to minimise harm and ensure Victorians and visitors enjoy safe and responsible gambling and liquor environments.
We monitor, investigate, audit and enforce compliance with the current laws and legislation within our remit including:
In addition, a Casino Agreement exists between the VCGLR and Crown which details Crowns licence conditions. See: Casino Agreement and Licence
Under the Casino Control Act 1991 Crown is required to ensure that an approved system of internal controls is implemented. We monitor Crown’s implementation of these systems and controls through an active audit program and take any failure to implement these seriously.
Where Crown has failed to implement these controls, we have taken disciplinary action and issued fines, see: Enforcement actions.
Under the Casino Control Act 1991, we license the casino, approve its associates and license certain employees with functions related to gambling.
An associate is a person who does or will: hold relevant financial interest, be entitled to exercise relevant power, or be able to exercise significant influence over the management or operation of the casino.
Since 2013, we have assessed and approved nine new associated individuals and 3724 casino special employees. For a full list of current approved associates, see: Crown Melbourne Limited Associates
A junket operator is an individual or organisation that promotes and introduces a person or group of people to play at a casino. Junket operators receive a commission based on the turnover of play in the casino.
For more information, see junket and premium player programs below.
While we regulate Crown’s implementation of internal systems and controls to ensure the management and operation of the casino remains free from criminal influence, allegations of money laundering and terrorism financing is a matter for regulators and law enforcement agencies such as AUSTRAC and the Federal Police.
Under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) Act 2006, Crown is generally obligated to:
We work collaboratively and proactively with other regulators and law enforcement agencies including AUSTRAC and Victoria Police. Criminal matters are dealt with by the Police.
If we become aware of issues that fall outside of our remit, such as alleged money laundering and criminal activity, we have systems in place to ensure that these matters are referred to the relevant agency in a timely matter.
We conduct a wide range of day to day and periodic activities as part of the ongoing regulation and monitoring of Crown. These include:
Since 2013, over 1500 audits of casino operations have been completed as part of our compliance program.
The audits ensure gaming machines are correctly installed and function properly on approved software, that casino employees are strictly complying with all relevant requirements and that the integrity of games played in the casino is maintained.
We’ve also conducted regular bi-monthly, monthly and yearly audits on the payment of gambling taxes.
A junket operator is an individual or organisation that promotes and introduces a person or group of people to play at a casino. Junket operators receive a commission based on turnover of play by players they bring or introduce to the casino.
Premium player arrangements (or programs) are approved arrangements where Crown agrees to pay a casino patron a commission based on their turnover of play in the casino.
A junket operator’s interaction with Crown is regulated by the relevant approved system of internal controls that Crown is required to implement under section 121 of the Casino Control Act 1991.
We can direct Crown to cease relationships with a junket operator to ensure that the casino remains free from criminal influence. We may also order that a person is prohibited from entering or remaining in the casino.
We conduct audits of Crown’s junket and premium player arrangements to monitor compliance with the approved system of internal controls. Our inspectors conduct regular random and targeted audits of various junket and premium play arrangements and transactions.
Our organisation, other regulators and law enforcement agencies are aware of the potential risks of money laundering and other criminal activity at casinos, particularly through junket operations. We work collaboratively and proactively with other regulators and law enforcement agencies to ensure the casino is free from criminal influence. We have formal information sharing arrangements with Victorian Police and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). AUSTRAC is Australia’s financial intelligence unit and anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulator.
As part of our ongoing regulatory oversight of Crown, we are required to undertake a review of the casino operator every five years. Each review includes recommendations that Crown is required to implement. We then monitor and assess Crown's implementation of these recommendations.
Reviews examine whether:
Our Sixth Review of the Casino Operator and Licence (Sixth Casino Review) thoroughly examined the operations of Crown and made 20 recommendations that Crown is required to report back to the Commission in accordance with set due dates. To date, Crown has made submissions for each of the due recommendations to the Commission by the required due dates.
For details of the review and recommendations, see: Sixth Review of the Casino Operator and Licence June 2018
Review of social and economic impact report - October 2009
We investigate matters relating to Crown under relevant Acts, including the Liquor Control Reform Act 1988, the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 and the Casino Control Act 1991
The VCGLR’s enforcement tools are written warnings, directions, infringement notices, criminal prosecution and formal disciplinary action. The use of these options is dependent on the type and circumstances of the alleged breach and is implemented in accordance with our regulatory approach.
Enforcement actions against Crown are published in via our website, see:
Sixth Review of the Casino Operator and Licence
More information about matters that we can investigate under relevant Acts, including the Liquor Control Reform Act 1988, the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 and the Casino Control Act 1991, are outlined on our website, as well as matters that fall outside our jurisdiction, see: Complaints
We have several investigations currently underway relating to Crown.
Media reports – junket operators and money laundering
We are re-examining issues relating to Crown and junket operators that have been reported in the media in recent months. The issues are complex and we are undertaking a detailed and thorough review.
For more information, see: media releases
We are investigating the detention, prosecution and imprisonment of 19 employees in China and are currently assessing the information raised in recent media reports to determine if regulatory action is appropriate in the circumstances.
For more information, see: Annual Report 2018-19
Probity investigation into Melco purchase of Crown
We have commenced a detailed probity assessment and investigation into the suitability of Melco and its associates to become associates of the Victorian casino operator.
There is no time limit set out in the Act for the Commission to undertake its inquiries.