New Casino Advisory Panel to ensure transparency

Released 05/06/2018

A new advisory panel will be established to provide even greater oversight and transparency of decisions about the casino, after new laws passed the Legislative Assembly today.

The Casino and Other Gaming Legislation Amendment Act 2018 will require the Minister to establish a Casino Advisory Panel in a range of circumstances.

It will provide oversight to the ownership and gaming operations of the casino and carefully consider what is in the public’s interest. It will also advise the Government on any future application to operate gaming machines or fully automated table games.

“A Casino advisory panel will ensure decision making about the casino is independently and expertly informed,” Minister Ramsay said.

Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said a panel’s consideration would be in addition to the role of the Gambling and Racing Commission, which will continue to provide advice to Government about regulatory compliance and how to reduce gambling harm in the best interests of the community.

“The Government has a strong commitment to harm minimisation and is actively working to reduce the damaging impacts of gambling. This includes our commitment to reduce the number of gaming machine authorisations by a fifth to 4,000 by 2020.”

Minister Ramsay said the Bill extended the commencement of the population-based ratio by a year to allow time for a revised approach to be finalised and considered by the Legislative Assembly.

“As announced at the start of April, the Government has commissioned an independent expert, Mr Neville Stevens AO, to undertake a Club Industry Diversification Support Analysis,” Minister Ramsay said. “This is to identify opportunities to support clubs to voluntarily surrender their authorisations and to diversify their businesses to reduce reliance on gaming revenue.

“Mr Stevens’ report has now been received, and the Government will consider his recommendations and determine the pathway to achieve the reduction.”

The Bill also outlines the requirements for social impact assessments relating to the casino. This includes the requirement to provide information about the proposed redevelopment of the casino and its surrounding precinct and expected community benefits.

“As a package, these changes will ensure the Canberra community is better protected and supported to overcome the impacts of gambling harm,” Minister Ramsay said.

- Statement ends -

Section: Gordon Ramsay, MLA | Media Releases

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