Victoria Introduces the Casino and Liquor Legislation Amendment Bill 2022
Wednesday 1 June 2022 @ 11.22 a.m. | Legal Research
On 24 May 2022, the Casino and Liquor Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 (Vic) (“the Bill”) was introduced into the Victorian Legislative Assembly. The Bill, which was introduced by Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne (“the Minister”), forms part of the government response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence.
The Bill proposes substantive changes to the regulatory powers of the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission ("VGCCC"). Specifically, the Bill seeks to amend the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission Act 2011 (Vic) to:
- clarify the objectives of the VGCCC, including to minimise gambling harm and problem gambling; and
- expand on the VGCCC’s public education functions.
In the Second Reading Speech delivered on 25 May 2022, the Minister explained that:
“by embedding harm minimisation in the core functions and objectives of the VGCCC, this Bill will ensure that it shapes every decision being made by the regulator and protect Victorians from gambling-related harm.”
The Bill also proposes to expand on the powers and reporting functions of VGCCC casino inspectors, to include:
- granting inspectors access to security and surveillance equipment, including books and records, regardless of the location of the equipment and records; and
- obligating inspectors to report to the VGCCC on certain activity they observe, including money laundering or the sale and supply of illicit drugs.
If passed, the legislation would also transfer regulatory powers regarding liquor from the VGCCC to a new liquor regulator – the Victorian Liquor Commission ("VLC").
The Bill proposes the introduction of new Parts 9A and 9B into the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 (Vic) (“the Act”) in order to establish the VLC, the functions of which will include promoting and monitoring compliance with the Act.
The Minister explained in the Second Reading Speech that:
“Transferring the regulation of liquor to [the Department of Justice and Community Safety] will allow the VGCCC to maintain focus on upholding the highest standards in the regulation of the casino and broader gambling industry.”
The Bill is yet to pass the lower house.
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Casino and Liquor Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 (Vic) and additional explanatory material available from TimeBase’s LawOne Service