Independent Casino Commission proposed for NSW

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In Australia, the New South Wales government is looking into the creation of an Independent Casino Commission following the results of an independent inquiry into Crown Resorts.

The government notes that it is now planning a “redesigned regulatory structure for casinos” in the territory, according to the group’s Digital and Customer Service Minister.

Victor Dominello noted that it was “critical the management and operation of casinos in New South Wales are free from criminal influence and exploitation.”

The recommendation comes as one of the 19 suggestions by the Royal Commission inquiry into the casino operator; all of the suggestions have been accepted by the state government.

One of the new recommendations may cause particular ire to billionaire James Packer, who has been fighting attempts to limit his voting power on the company he has since stepped away from.

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The recommendation states that the new Independent Casino Commission would be required to approve all acquisitions, holdings, or transfer of interest of 10 per cent or more in a casino licence.

Crown’s holding company, Consolidated Press Holdings, had argued that an individual’s holdings of shares in a holding company “does not of itself give a person influence over the management or operation of the casino business”.

The group claimed that the removal from such operation and management had already been undertaken, without requiring further restrictions for shareholders.

The nation’s digital and customer service minister noted the new recommendations would be “an important first step in the process of reforming the casino sector.”

However, the New South Wales government continues to keep an eye on the ongoing Royal Commission into Crown in Victoria, as well as Western Australia. The minister says that they will then consider further proposals for regulatory reform against Crown.

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New South Wales’ Independent Liquor and Gaming Licence Authority continues to assess Crown’s suitability to hold a gaming licence in the state.

Source: Asia Gaming Brief

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