Asia round-up: VGCCC restrictions & LRWC Q1 losses

By Louis Thompsett

VGCCC reveals new EGM restrictions for Crown Melbourne 

The Victorian Gambling Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has announced new restrictions on EGM machines at Crown Melbourne. 

All players using Crown Melbourne facilities will be banned from using any item to hold down EGM buttons for continuous play. Players will also be banned from using more than one games machine at a given time. 

The VGCCC notes that the new rules put in place at Crown Melbourne will better help the casino’s policy fall in line with the responsible gambling objectives set out in Australia’s Gambling Regulation Act 2003, and the Casino Control Act 1991. 

The VGCCC’s latest filing refused to rule out applying additional recommendations from a 2021 report from Victoria’s Royal Commission. 

In fact, the VGCCC has implied that most regulatory changes will likely be initiated in the future. 

Jason Cremona, VGCCC’s Acting Director for Licensing, said: “Playing more than one machine at a time is not consistent with the responsible gambling objectives contained in the legislation, and nor is playing continuously by using items to hold down an electronic gaming machine button. 

“The casino is required to ensure that patrons comply with the rules, and the VGCCC will be monitoring compliance and will take regulatory action should Crown not ensure that the rules are complied with.” 

These regulations imposed on Crown Melbourne follow the Victoria Government’s approval of greater enforcement and compliance powers in the VGCCC to oversee operations at Crown Melbourne. 

The VGCCC has been given access to surveillance equipment and casino records at Crown Resorts, and casino employees are now required to assist VGCCC inspectors with any monitoring activity undertaken. 

The Victorian Royal Commission issued these recommendations following several instances of money laundering at Crown Resorts last year. This, alongside responsible gambling inadequacies and corporate governance failures resulted in the Royal Commission recommending the VGCCC taking a controlling presence in the casino’s operations. 

Victoria’s Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulations, Melissa Horne, said: “[Legislation] will strengthen the already robust oversight of the casino operator... [the Government is] continuing to hold Crown to account.” 

Leisure and Resorts World Corporation losses widen for Q1 

The Philippines’ Leisure and Resorts World Corporation (LRWC) has seen its EBITDA losses widen by PHP151m for Q1 2022, as compared with losses of PHP13m EBITDA for Q1 2021. 

Total revenue also declined by PHP13m year-on-year, falling from PHP942m for Q1 2021. 

LRWC has been recommencing its operations from the start of 2022, following the cessation of restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Despite the positives associated with resumed operations, LRWC has noted that the resumption of its workforce has increased operating expenses. 

What’s more, the company has launched its new product, BingoPlus, the development of which has added significant costs to LRWC’s latest quarterly report. 

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