Monday, July 4, 2022

Australia’s New Gaming Regulator in Victoria to Have More Power

The Victorian Parliament has introduced legislation to give its new casino regulator increased powers. The move is a direct result of Crown Resorts’ irresponsibility and lack of compliance with existing regulations.

An announcement today by the Victorian government stated that the legislation will allow casino inspectors to have greater access to surveillance equipment and casino records. It will also require casino employees to help inspectors access the property’s surveillance equipment.

It will also give the new Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) greater powers. The VGCCC replaced the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation last November. The legislation will see the transfer of liquor regulation to the Department of Justice and Community Safety.

VGCCC to Have Unilateral Control

The new regulator will make gambling harm minimization one of its primary initiatives. It will also be able to take immediate action against Crown Melbourne if its leadership does not adhere to regulations.

A single violation of the code will be enough for the VGCCC to take action. The government stated that the previous regulator was unable to intervene unless there were multiple violations by the operator.

We’re continuing to hold Crown to account, and these changes will strengthen the already robust oversight of the casino operator. The legislation introduced today is an important step in implementing every one of the Royal Commission’s recommendations, with further reforms to be introduced later this year,” stated Melissa Horne, Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation.

The objective behind the strict approach is to ensure complete compliance and reduce gambling harm. It will, in theory, ensure that Crown, and perhaps Star Entertainment, take their financial and regulatory responsibilities more seriously.

Time to Reset Victoria

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF) launched a new app that provides self-help for those who have suffered from gambling harm. Details from the entity show that the “Reset” app provides insight into how people gamble. It also offers strategies to track and manage gambling behavior.

Deakin University research led to the development of Reset, which was partially funded by an AU$200,000 grant (US$142,000) from the Victorian state government. It uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as well as motivational influence in order to help people who are struggling with gambling addictions.

CBT, according to the American Psychological Association, is a form of psychological treatment that can help reduce anxiety, depression and different forms of addiction. It can, in some cases, be more effective than “other forms of psychological therapy or psychiatric medications.”

The Victorian government agrees. It states that clinical tests have proven that the app can be an effective alternative to traditional in-person counseling. Alternatively, consumers can use the app in conjunction with counseling.

We understand the importance of minimizing gambling harm and ensuring all Victorians have access to the help they need – this app is another way we’re supporting people at risk of problematic gambling behavior,” said Horne.

App users are able to configure their own goals and complete activities at their own pace. Modules included in the app cover dealing with urges, how to avoid unplanned gambling sessions and how to respond to relapses.

One of the characteristics that may appeal to many is the app’s privacy. Because consumers can use it from the comfort of their own homes, no one has to know they’re addressing a potential addiction. As a result, more people may be inclined to seek help.

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