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BERGIN REPORT UPDATE RE CROWN’S BARANGAROO CASINO

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BERGIN REPORT UPDATE RE CROWN’S BARANGAROO CASINO
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The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority has reached agreement with Crown Resorts on several matters regarding operation of the Barangaroo casino.

Crown has agreed with the Authority to:

  • pay a proportion of the costs of the Bergin Inquiry,
  • immediately commence payment of the Casino Supervisory Levy,
  • not operate any international junket operations,
  • make all gaming in its casinos cashless with card technology linked to identity and a recognised financial institution, and
  • phase out indoor smoking at its Australian resorts by December 2022.

The agreement was reached following discussions between the regulator and Crown Resorts about issues identified in the Bergin Report concerning the future management and operation of Crown’s Barangaroo casino.

In separate discussions, The Star has also agreed to cease all international junket operations and work with the Authority in moving towards cashless gaming, using a card linked to identity and to a recognised financial institution.

In seeking to establish that it is suitable to hold a casino licence in NSW:

Crown has undergone significant Board renewal,
All senior executives, against whom concerns were raised by Bergin, have left,
All senior executive positions are being filled by candidates with relevant expertise and experience, and
Independent audits are well under way on several aspects of Crown’s operations.

ILGA chair Philip Crawford said Crown was making significant progress in addressing the serious concerns raised in the Bergin Report.

“Crown, through its Executive Chair Helen Coonan, is addressing many of the issues which caused Commissioner Bergin to find that it was unsuitable to hold a casino licence in NSW,” Mr Crawford said.

“The Authority has also entered into an agreement with CPH to address issues around its influence and control over the management of Crown.”

Mr Crawford said an Independent Monitor is being appointed to report back to the Authority on several of Crown’s structural changes, with particular focus on its corporate governance, anti-money laundering measures and culture.

“The Authority will await the report from the Independent Monitor, and the result of the financial accounts audit, before making a final decision on suitability,” he said.

“Any changes to Crown’s ownership structure, including takeover or merger proposals, require the Authority to consider a range of issues including undertaking full probity assessments of any new entrants, how a merged entity would operate, and the extent to which any existing agreements with Crown would need to be reviewed.

“Any concerns around monopolies would be a matter for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission,” Mr Crawford said.

Australia

Foxtel Breaks Rules with Live Sport Betting Promotion

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tvblackbox.com.au
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Foxtel has breached broadcasting rules by airing a segment promoting a betting service during the live broadcast of an AFL match on Easter Monday afternoon.

An Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation found the broadcast breached the rules in the Subscription Broadcast Television Codes of Practice.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said under the rules broadcasters must not air gambling advertising during or within five minutes of live sports broadcast between 5 am and 8.30 pm.

“These rules are in place to reduce exposure to betting promotions. In particular, parents worry about their children seeing gambling ads, especially those associated with shared family activities like sport,” Ms. O’Loughlin said.

“Foxtel is well aware of the rules and it is disappointing that this betting promotion was allowed to go to air.”

Foxtel self-reported the breach to the ACMA following a complaint from a viewer. The breach of the rules occurred as a result of human error during the live broadcast.

Following the breach finding, Foxtel provided refresher training to staff about Foxtel’s obligations relating to betting advertising under the Code. Foxtel has also introduced new controls to ensure that gambling advertisements are not improperly broadcast during live sporting events in the future.

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Australia

Lawrence Levy Resigns as CEO of Ainsworth Game Technology

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Ainsworth Game Technology has announced that Lawrence Levy has advised the Company of his intention to resign from the role of CEO effective Friday 10th September 2021.

The Company also announced that Harald Neumann will be appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer. Neumann has been a director of Ainsworth since February 2017.

Mark Ludski, Chief Financial Officer, will undertake the additional role of interim CEO until the appointment of Neumann takes effect to ensure continuity of leadership and oversight of the Company’s operations.

“On behalf of the Board, we thank Lawrence for his contribution through challenging times. Lawrence has decided to resign for personal reasons, and we wish him well. We are fortunate to be able to appoint Harald as our new CEO. As the former successful CEO of Novomatic AG, our major shareholder, and a director of AGT, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role with a thorough understanding of AGT. He will be able to seamlessly transition to the new position. Harald will be based in Las Vegas where he can lead AGT in our largest market continuing to drive growth and recovery,” Danny Gladstone, Chairman of Ainsworth, said.

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Australia

NSW GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES ILGA BOARD APPOINTMENT

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NSW GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES ILGA BOARD APPOINTMENT
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The NSW Government has appointed a new member to the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) Board, which makes decisions on higher risk licensing proposals and disciplinary matters involving hotels, clubs, bottle shops and the casino.

The ILGA Chairperson, Philip Crawford, has welcomed the appointment of Gillian Eldershaw to the ILGA board.

“Ms Eldershaw has been appointed for a three-year term and brings a wide array of skills and experience which will be a great asset to ILGA,” Mr Crawford said.

“Ms Eldershaw is a Barrister admitted to practice in New South Wales and in the High Court of Australia. She completed a Bachelor of Laws in 2004 and earned a Bachelor of Nursing in 1995.

“ILGA is committed to fair and transparent decision making and dealing with matters in a timely and efficient manner. People appointed to the ILGA board must be of the highest integrity and promote fair, transparent, and efficient decision-making. Ms Eldershaw clearly meets all these requirements.”

Gillian Eldershaw replaces Nicole McWilliam, whose term has been completed, and brings the Board’s membership back to eight. The board is chairperson Philip Crawford, deputy chair Murray Smith, and members Craig Sahlin, Stephen Parbery, Sarah Dinning, Samantha Zouroudis, and Paul Gentle.

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