Beleaguered gambling giant Crown will be monitored by a new watchdog in Victoria, as the chief executive of the casino’s Melbourne operations stands down.
Counsel assisting the royal commission into Crown’s Melbourne business previously told the inquiry it was unfit to hold a licence and closing submissions by multiple parties, including Crown, will be made on Tuesday.
Minutes before those submissions started, Gaming Minister Melissa Horne announced the state government will overhaul the regulation of gambling by creating a new regulator.
The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission will have oversight of all gambling in the state and follows a separate review into the current watchdog, which currently monitors gambling and liquor.
Ms Horne described merging liquor and gaming regulation as a “failed experiment of the past”.
A dedicated casino division will monitor solely on Crown’s Southbank complex.
“What this will do is provide us with a sharp focus and a dedicated division in the new regulator that focuses directly on regulating the casino,” Ms Horne said at parliament.
Legislation to split the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation will come before parliament by the end of 2021.
Shortly before making its final remarks to the royal commission, the James Packer-backed group on Tuesday announced Crown Melbourne chief executive Xavier Walsh will step down on August 20. He will leave the company in December.
Mr Walsh, the inquiry heard previously, knew Crown Melbourne underpaid millions in Victorian gaming taxes for three years but did nothing about it until the day after the royal commission was announced.
Commissioner Ray Finkelstein will make his findings after closing submissions from the State of Victoria, Crown, Crown chair Helen Coonan and the current regulator, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, are heard.