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Queensland preempts crackdown on harmful gambling practices with new bill

Updated by Ralph Trayfalgar

In response to the recent bevy of cases and controversies surrounding some of Australasia’s largest casino networks, the government of Queensland has passed a new bill that updates the state’s existing gambling legislation and cracks down on harmful gambling practices.

The new bill, to be named the Casino Control and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022, seeks to preemptively sever any connections between the real money gambling industry and criminal organizations. In doing so, the Queensland government hopes to prevent incidents similar to the ongoing cases on Crown Resorts and Star Entertainment from happening in the state.

One of the headlining additions to the bill are larger fines that will be more quickly and strictly enforced on casinos that violate state regulations. These fines, which are expected to go as high as AU$50 million, are intended to serve as a deterrent against casinos who may feel the need to toe the lines. 

The bill also intends to make transactions more accessible yet focused, adding clauses that seek to transition Queensland’s casinos to cashless gambling and legalising new casino payment methods if they are found to be secure enough. 

In an announcement on the new bill, attorney-general and justice minister Shannon Fentiman stated: “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 WA, as well as investigations underway into the Star Entertainment Group.

“As a result of the changes, there will be significant pecuniary penalties as a disciplinary action of up to AU$50m. These reforms are 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.”

A representative from Star Entertainment Group stated that they are reviewing the details of the bill. The firm is currently in the process of launching a new casino in the Queen’s Wharf area of Queensland later in the year. 

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