ILGA announces practical interim arrangements for NSW casino regulator

By Peter Lynch

The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) has announced practical interim arrangements ahead of legislative changes to establish an independent casino regulator in New South Wales (NSW).

An independent casino regulator is one of 19 recommendations from the Bergin Inquiry Report on the regulation of casinos in the state and the suitability of Crown Resorts to hold a restricted gaming licence.

The government agreed to support all 19 recommendations in August 2021, with a standalone casino regulator now “well on its way to becoming a reality, with temporary arrangements put in place to support the new structure,” a statement from ILGA read.

Work is already underway to redesign the regulatory structure of NSW casinos, with legislative changes to parliament expected in mid-2022.

“We need improved capacity now and that’s what these interim arrangements will provide for,” said ILGA Chairperson Philip Crawford. “ILGA will use the new arrangements to further enhance its ability to identify and address organised crime in casinos and to expand its cooperation with the ACIC, AUSTRAC and the NSW Police Force.”

The arrangements include the appointment of a new ILGA board member with anti-money laundering expertise, as well as changing Crawford’s role from part-time to full-time in a bid to “enable a stronger leadership focus and commitment to casino regulation.”

Other arrangements include the functional separation of casino regulation from liquor and gaming regulation within the current regulator, with some ILGA members focused on the consideration of casino matters, and also the allocation of additional resources to relevant teams within the Department of Customer Service to better support ILGA’s powers.

Additionally, there will be a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Customer Service and AUSTRAC, in order to strengthen collaboration and information sharing between the groups.

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