Crown to keep Melbourne casino licence on condition of sweeping reforms

Crown Melbourne is set to keep its casino licence under a two-year probation period and the introduction of sweeping reforms.

While the Royal Commission found Crown Melbourne unsuitable to hold a casino licence as it engaged in conduct that is “illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative”, it also argued that immediate cancellation of Crown’s licence would cause considerable harm to the Victorian economy and jeopardise up to 12,000 jobs.

Instead, the Royal Commission has recommended Crown be permitted to continue operating while it undertakes a significant reform agenda under the stringent oversight of a Special Manager. Crown must do this over two years in order to retain its licence.

Stephen O’Bryan QC will be appointed as the Special Manager overseeing the casino operator, subject to the passage of the Bill.

The Andrews Government has also introduced new laws that will automatically cancel Crown’s licence unless the regulator is clearly satisfied Crown is suitable to continue operating Melbourne’s casino.

“The Government accepts all of the findings of the Royal Commission and we are taking immediate action to hold Crown to account and restore the public’s trust in the casino operator,” said Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Melissa Horne.

”Since receiving the final report from the Royal Commission, we’ve prioritised the most urgent actions to ensure we have a casino operator that upholds the highest standards of integrity and honesty.”