The Crown casino in Melbourne, Australia, has been fined A$120m (€77.5m) for breaching the gambling regulations in the state of Victoria.
The record fine covered failings stretching back over 10 years and was imposed by the Victoria Gambling and Casino Control Commission for “misconduct.”
Yhey included permitting people to gamble for long periods – up to 24 hours at a time – and failing to prevent gamblers from using plastic picks to jam down poker machine buttons.
The decision comes after a Royal Commission investigation last year found that the casino had consistently breached the code of conduct for responsible gambling for over 12 years, prioritising revenue over its obligations to protect patrons, said the chairperson of the commission.
“For a long time,” said Fran Thorn, “Crown had promoted itself as having the world’s best approach to problem gambling. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
A fine of A$100m (€64.5m), the maximum, was imposed and another $20m (€12.9m) was imposed for failing to stop gamblers from using devices to hold down poker machine buttons.
Crown Resorts is now owned by the private equity company Blackstone following a $9bn (€5.8bn) acquisition earlier this year.