AU Labor MP Raises Concerns about Reduced Measures in Gambling

AU Labor MP Raises Concerns about Reduced Measures in Gambling and Liquor Oversight

Labor MP Jane Garrett is now raising concerns about the seeming abandonment of serious guidelines in overseeing the state's gambling and liquor industry. In a parliament hearing held last February, Bruce Thompson head of Victoria's Gaming Commission, disclosed that the matter of sending gambling and liquor inspectors to rural venues across the state had been scrapped. This was replaced by a risk-based approach called “compliance activity”.

The approach includes the act of delivering letters by hand to cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs and accordingly being sent out ”to assist with boosting compliance activities”. If the letter-carrier arrives during off-hours, the missive is left at the venue, while information about the status of the compliance letter is passed on to the intelligence unit of the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR). The unit will in turn provide the joint organisation the support needed in carrying out its regulatory functions.

Mr. Thompson further informed MP Garrett that he cannot give an assurance if the current 24-hour gambling and liquor inspections being performed at Crown Casino will continue. He said that discussions pertaining to VCGLR's resource allocation included the scrapping of the round-the-clock monitoring at Crown. An alternative measure being considered is that of maintaining a daily shift from 11:00am up to 9:00pm, where a complaints box will be available to patrons who need to raise specific issues.

Although a spokesperson for Gaming Minister Edward O'Donohue stated that the VCGLR gave the gaming minister that assurance that “there would be no reduction in oversight at Crown”, concerned Labor MP Garrett, is calling on the government of Victorian Premier Denis Napthine to cease with the budget cuts and allow the hard-working inspectors to return to their crucial posts.