26 September 2023

New casino rules to beat gambling harm

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Queensland’s casino operators can expect to be subject to tougher gambling laws as the Government improves its compliance requirements, increases its penalties and pushes for more gambling harm minimisation measures.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman said the proposed reforms in the Casino Control and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 have been designed to help prevent criminal influence and exploitation in casinos and are in response to recent inquiries into casinos in other States.

“This Bill will ensure Queenslanders can have confidence in the integrity of our casino laws,” Ms Fentiman said.

“These reforms seek to address concerns which have emerged from the public inquiries into casinos operated by Crown Resorts in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, as well as investigations underway into the Star Entertainment Group,” she said.

“As a result of the changes, there will be significant pecuniary penalties as a disciplinary action of up to $50 million.”

She said the reforms were considered to be examples of best practice casino regulation and will be in place before the opening of the new casino at Queen’s Wharf to be operated by The Star.”

The Minister said further changes to the legislation could be considered at the conclusion of current investigations into The Star Entertainment Group.

She said the Bill would also include changes to help deliver the Government’s commitment to transition to safe cashless gaming.

“This Bill will modernise Queensland’s gambling legislation to allow new payment methods and systems to be considered for use,” Ms Fentiman said.

“These amendments will not only provide the government with the flexibility to consider new and innovative approaches to gaming, but will ensure that emergent technology can be subjected to appropriate controls in order to address potential risks.”

She said the Bill also introduces changes for charities and not-for-profits by introducing a mutual recognition scheme for fundraising approvals in Queensland.

Charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and who notify the Office of Fair Trading can be deemed a registered charity in Queensland and can fundraise in Queensland, she said.

Ms Fentimen said the changes were part of ongoing work to reduce regulatory burdens for charities.

“Queensland will continue to work with the other States and Territories to deliver further national harmonisation of fundraising laws,” the Attorney-General said.

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