Crown has pledged to overhaul its responsible gambling program after counsel assisting the inquiry Adrian Finanzio, SC found evidence of serious failings by the operator to implement its responsible gambling code of conduct.
A requirement of its Melbourne casino licence, Crown had the money and technology to do more to limit the harm caused by gambling addiction, but “motivation may have been lacking,” according to Finanzio.
The inquiry heard that Crown’s lawyers wrote to the commission to inform it that the company’s board had agreed to implement a host of changes to its responsible gambling program, including more staff on gaming floors and times limits for players.
“Some of the measures outlined as areas for proposed changes concern practices of Crown which have been for a long time obviously inconsistent with fostering responsible gaming,” said Finanzio. “In other words, the letter promises to stop things which, on one view, should never have been happening in the first place.
“The changes now proposed amount to an implied admission that some of Crown’s practices, some quite recent practices, are inconsistent with the responsible service of gaming.”
The commission has requested minutes from the aforementioned Crown board meeting, which the operator is yet to produce.
Finanzio also noted to Commissioner Ray Finkelstein that evidence before the inquiry suggested that customers at Crown Melbourne were three times more likely to experience gambling harm than those who gamble at other venues in Victoria.