Gambling Laws in Queensland Undergoing a Reform

Amid an ongoing review of The Star Entertainment Group, the state of Queensland plans to introduce changes to its gambling-related laws. Among the changes is an increase in the noncompliance penalty by up to $50 million.

Why Change the Laws Now?

The Queensland Government has been closely following recent development, namely in Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. Inquires in Crown Resorts and the aforementioned Star Entertainment Group are the reason for that.

The objective of this move is simple – the latest findings against big names in the gambling industry of Australia leave a sour taste in the mouth of government officials. And action is being taken to remedy this as quickly as possible.

If big-time players like Crown Resorts and The Star Entertainment Group are involved in shady practices, then maybe other Online Casinos in Australia could be doing something similar. The state of Queensland aims to prevent such places from turning into crime dens.

What Are the Big Players Guilty of?

In the case of both Star Entertainment and Crown Resorts, evidence has been found supporting various illegal activities. These include:

  • Money Laundering
  • Foreign Influence on Casino Grounds
  • Crime

Following these groundbreaking findings, a number of changes were made to the leadership of both companies that aimed to clear their reputation and safe face. Local regulators also enacted disciplinary actions to enforce accepted rules.

Interestingly enough, the Queensland Government shows no signs of intention to evaluate both companies’ businesses. Instead, a change to existing laws has been deemed as a more suitable course of action in order to cut crime at its roots.

Taking experience from the mistakes of others, the new Casino Control and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 aims to take the know-how from other entities like the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission. The purpose – preventing crime from taking place at Queensland casinos and sites like TheBingoOnline.com.

How Are the Changes to the Law Going to Affect the Industry?

Acting Minister for Justice and Attorney-General of Queensland Shannon Fentiman made a comment regarding the new bill. It is her belief that the upcoming changes will positively impact the public’s perception of laws governing casinos.

The public inquiries into Victorian, NSW and Western Australia casinos operated by Crown Resorts have raised valid concerns about the integrity of gambling giants regarding their business operations. Ongoing investigations into the Star Entertainment Group are also cited as a major factor.

Such happenings are the driving force behind Queensland’s maximum penalty raise up to $50 million for incompliant regulators. This move has been likened to the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission’s decision to raise gambling industry infraction fines up to $100 million.

Fentiman also added that the accepted reforms are manifestations of best practices concerning casino regulations. They are intended to take effect before the opening of The Queen’s Wharf, a new casino replacing the Treasury Brisbane and incidentally operated by The Star.

Other Changes Accepted by the Ministry

The newly accepted bill also includes other changes, namely:

  • Safe cashless gaming and a commitment by the Queensland Government to initiate a transition to it
  • Modernisation of payment methods and systems
  • Flexibility in considering and adopting innovative new approaches to gaming and gambling
  • Increased control of new technology implementation to the gambling industry
  • Continued effort to minimise damages done by solid gambling affinity

In the front of non-cash options being ushered to widespread use, the Attorney-General shared that the recent Covid-19 pandemic caused a decline in cash transactions. As a result, many industries adopted other electronic solutions. It is these solutions that are likely to see widespread adoption, provided they are safe and reliable.

When aiming for flexibility amid increasingly innovative approach avenues for gambling and gaming, Fentiman expressed optimism that the new legislation would be instrumental in laying a solid groundwork for easy future adoption and utilisation of such practices.

The strong focus on battling gambling addiction and the damages that can be brought by it remains a cornerstone of the Queensland Government’s program. As such measures combating such affinities will continue to be prioritised and supported.

Charities and Non-Profit Organisations

Lastly, charities and non-profit organisations will also be affected by the new bill. That change will take the form of a recognition scheme for fundraising approvals across Queensland.

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission affiliated charities will be considered eligible to fundraise within the state of Queensland, provided they send a notification to the Office of Fair Trading.

Those not falling under the above category can still be registered by the Office of Fair Trading. Previously, a 28-day objections period was in place, but that has now been removed. Applications can be finalised faster as a result with the Attorney-General hoping this will reduce burdens of regulatory nature upon charities.

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