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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, discussed the decision by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) to fine Crown Casino a record $120 million for failing to prevent gambling harm, for example by allowing people to gamble more than 24 hours straight, and failing to take all reasonable steps to prevent patrons from using plastic picks to allow “automatic play” on poker machines

“I applaud the disciplinary action taken by the VGCCC and the fact that the new gambling regulator seems to be trying to right the wrongs of its predecessor,” Mr Wilkie said. “For example, I first raised in Parliament in 2017 how plastic picks were being used to allow continuous play on poker machines. Regrettably, this was virtually ignored by the then Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.

“The size of the fine is disappointing however because we all know the human cost of gambling addiction is so much higher, and because $120m is tiny compared with Crown’s turnover and profits.

“Moreover the fact that no legal action has been taken against any board member or manager of Crown sends the message that those in ultimate control can continue to get off scot-free.

“Frankly the announcement by the VGCCC should result in Crown losing its Victorian casino licence. Clearly the company is systemically and culturally rotten and not fit to operate casinos in Australia.

“The failures of Crown over many years is also more than enough proof that we need urgent reform to clean up this dodgy industry. This is a wakeup call for the Victorian Government to follow the lead of the Tasmanian and New South Wales governments and introduce cashless anti-money laundering cards as a matter of urgency.”