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Interim report on WA gambling laws expected today

A royal commission into Western Australia’s outdated gambling laws and operations at Crown Perth is scheduled to hand in its first findings later today.

30th news

Former Supreme Court justices Neville Owen and Lindy Jenkins and former WA auditor-general Colin Murphy are expected to send an interim report to Governor Kim Beazley.

The report will largely focus on the suitability of the existing regulatory framework regarding casinos and casino gaming in Western Australia. A final report from the commission, which will have a more narrow focus on the suitability of Crown Perth to hold a gambling licence, is scheduled for 14 November 2021.

It follows a New South Wales report into Crown’s operations earlier this year, which found the operator unsuitable to hold the licence for its new Sydney casino in Barangaroo.

At the beginning of the WA commission, Owen announced that the inquiry would be informed by both the NSW inquiry and the royal commission currently being undertaken in Victoria into Crown Melbourne.

Owen noted that the inquiry will evaluate Crown’s corporate social responsibility, as opposed to considering the morality of gambling.

“So far as we are aware, this is the first time since the grant of the casino licence in 1988 that there has been an inquiry into these issues and given social changes in over 30 years, there is an increased importance to an inquiry of this kind,” said Owen.

“We will be concerned with grave matters of private and public interest and we enter into this investigation with that firmly in mind.”

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