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Western Australia gaming regulators lack casino training, inquiry hears

A royal commission into Crown Perth has heard that members of Western Australia’s gaming watchdog lack experience in casino regulation.

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The inquiry into Crown Perth is currently examining whether the state’s gambling legislation remains fit for purpose, and if Crown Resorts is suitable to continue holding a casino licence for Crown Perth. It comes after an inquiry into Crown earlier this year found the operator unsuitable to hold the licence for its new Sydney casino due to money laundering and ties to criminal activity through its junket operations.

The commission called Gaming and Wagering Commission chair Duncan Ord as its first witness on Monday. Ord, whose background is in the arts, told the inquiry he had no formal training in casino regulation before assuming the role.

"I had to take the role on at obviously a short notice," said Ord, who described the governance of casinos as increasingly complex. "I did what any new member would do when they're appointed, which is to take advantage of the expertise of the department's staff."

The current WA prove is being led by former Supreme Court justices Lindy Jenkins and Neville Owen, and former WA auditor-general Colin Murphy. Owen said the opening hearings of the inquiry are expected to be relatively low-key: “Those looking for more disputed exchanges and revelations in these early stages are unlikely to have their expectations met.”

An interim report is scheduled to be delivered by 30 June 2021, with a final report with findings and recommendations expected by 14 November 2021.


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