The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority has given Crown Sydney casino conditional approval to open its gaming operations
The Authority’s Chairperson, Philip Crawford, said Crown will be allowed to conditionally begin casino operations, giving the Authority the chance to monitor the final phase of its restricted gaming licence suitability assessment, after the 2021 Bergin Inquiry found Crown unsuitable to hold the licence.
“Under the Authority’s supervision, Crown has rebuilt its gaming model from the ground up, which has meant deep structural change around governance, anti-money laundering measures and corporate culture,” Mr Crawford said.
“After more than one year’s work with Crown, the Authority is pleased to have reached a stage where Crown can open its casino operations on a conditional basis.
“Given the need to observe the changes in operation as well as ensure changes are embedded in the business, the Authority will consider approval of Crown’s suitability until the end of the conditional gaming period, which could run between 18 months and two years.
“The new systems and internal control measures have been set up and will be in place from day one.”
Mr Crawford said the Bergin Inquiry highlighted the scale and scope of issues to be remediated by Crown, with potentially billions of dollars having been laundered through its casinos.
“Crown has been required to implement a raft of stringent controls to prevent money laundering and criminal infiltration in its NSW business model. What was happening in Crown’s interstate operations will not be repeated in NSW,” Mr Crawford said.
“With a complete clean-out of the board and senior executive, Crown has made significant progress and has agreed to ongoing work to regain its casino licence.”
The Authority has also approved Blackstone’s suitability to hold a casino licence in NSW. Having gained the other necessary approvals from Victorian and West Australian regulators and the Federal Court, Blackstone takes over as the new owner of Crown on Friday 24 June.
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Australian Parliament Passes Legislation Banning Online Credit Card Betting
The Australian Federal Parliament has passed the legislation banning the use of credit cards as a payment method for online wagering.
Responsible Wagering Australia CEO Kai Cantwell said that this change was much needed, as Australians should only be gambling with money that they have.
“This is an important measure to protect customers and their loved ones, making it easier for people to stay in control of their own gambling behaviour,” Mr Cantwell said.
“It will complement the existing offering of safer gambling account management tools by RWA members to customers to help them stay in control of their betting.
“It is disappointing to see that other forms of gambling such as lotteries and keno have been exempted from the ban, especially when lotteries are the most prevalent form of gambling in Australia and are commonly accessed by people in low-socioeconomic communities.
“The latest Australian Gambling Statistics show that Australians lost most than $3.2 billion on lotteries and keno in 2020-21. With the introduction of online keno in Victoria, keno losses increased more than 400 per cent from 2021-22 to 2022-23.
“Lotteries were also exempt from the National Self Exclusion Register, Betstop, meaning that Australians who have self-excluded from online gambling are not precluded from gambling up to $10,000 online at a time through lotteries.
“To effectively reduce gambling harm, consumer protection measures must exist across all forms of gambling, otherwise those at risk of harm will just move from one form of gambling to another less regulated type.
“RWA members have been working with the Federal Government and the financial services industry to deliver this credit card ban since 2021 and will continue to engage productively to ensure the ban can be implemented effectively within six months.”
BTG’s ‘Christmas Catch’ Slot Hits Evolution Network December 1
Is there anything more Christmassy than BTG’s Christmas Catch?
The countdown to Christmas has begun, which can mean only one thing: a new festive game from Big Time Gaming. Christmas Catch is high on volatility, even higher on tinsel, and comes stuffed with more goodies than Santa’s sack. This seasonal slot will be hitting the Evolution Network on December 1 like a Christmas pud out of a bazooka.
If all you want for Christmas is a seasonal twist on BTG’s fan favourite Golden Catch slot, then you’ve come to the right place. Christmas Catch takes the magic of the original and transplants it to a winter wonderland on Christmas Eve.
Santa’s hardworking reindeer are putting in overtime this year. With every every spin and reaction, there’s the chance of a Sleigh symbol appearing above reels two to five. Whenever winning symbols are removed, one or more Gift Bonus Prizes may appear. Gift Bonus Prizes are awarded for each Sleigh and can be worth up to 500x the bet, depending on how many symbols are on its reel.
Meanwhile, land three Golden Pudding scatters in the base game to win 10 free spins, with an additional two for every scatter beyond the third. Then it’s take-off for Rudolph and his reindeer pals. The first Sleigh sets off with a 1x Sleigh Multiplier, and with each subsequent Sleigh, the multiplier increases by 1, enhancing your Gifts Bonus Prizes as it goes.
By gathering three or more Scatters during your Free Spins, you’ll be gifted four extra Free Spins. And just like before, for every Scatter beyond the third, you’ll receive an extra two Free Spins, ensuring the festivities continue.
Meanwhile, because this is a Megaways slot, there can be up to 117,649 ways to win on each spin, which could make for some potential big wins this Christmas.
Nik Robinson, BTG CEO, said: “We love this time of year because we have a lot of momentum with our annual Christmas slot, and we have sprinkled as much festive fun as we can onto Christmas Catch. And so, on behalf of everyone at BTG, we’d like to wish all slots fans around the world, health, wealth, happiness and prosperity this Christmas season.”
Nicholas Peters, Chief Business Development Officer for Europe at Evolution said: “Christmas-themed slots are becoming a genre unto themselves, but Christmas Catch must be a contender for the best one ever. This is more than just a seasonal gimmick, it’s a seriously good game with the kind of hugely engaging gameplay we’ve come to expect from BTG.”
Tabcorp Appoints New Chief Financial Officer
Tabcorp Holdings has announced the appointment of Mark Howell as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
Howell is currently the general manager liquor finance and network optimisation for Coles Group Limited’s liquor business, which trades as Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and First Choice Liquor Market.
He has formerly held senior finance, strategy, business development and investor relations roles at Coles, as well as senior banking roles at Rothschild and Goldman Sachs in Australia and New York.
Adam Rytenskild, Managing Director and CEO of Tabcorp, said: “Mark is the perfect fit for Tabcorp as we deliver our transformation. He’s passionate about our growth story and dynamic in his thinking.
“Wagering is one of the most competitive industries in Australia and Mark comes from an equally competitive customer focused industry. His experience leading finance teams at Coles and working closely with investors will be invaluable moving forward.”
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