The number of gaming regulators employed by the state government to monitor criminal conduct at Crown Casino has declined by 20% over the past three years.
New documents, released by the Andrews government to a parliamentary committee, show 69 full-time inspectors were employed in June 2015, but that number fell to 56 in March this year.
The number of inspectors employed by the watchdog briefly peaked in 2018 at 70 before dropping 20% in the past three years.
The Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), which employs gaming regulators, told a parliamentary committee that it has always maintained a “constant presence” at Crown Casino for the past six years, but has could not confirm how many of these inspectors were based at Crown without consulting the historical lists.
The new data comes a day after Premier Daniel Andrews said he was concerned about new allegations released Monday night by ABC’s Four Corners program from five former casino inspectors who said they had been repeatedly blocked by the regulator and the casino while trying to monitor the games. giant.
Opposition Shadow Gaming Minister Steph Ryan said the new data was proof the Andrews government had “gutted” the ailing regulator.
“The Labor Party’s decision to drastically reduce the number of inspectors raises further questions about political interference in the regulator,” Ms Ryan said. “The government and the regulator should be brought before the Royal Commission to explain why the number of inspectors was reduced as allegations of illegal conduct and corruption were disseminated.”
In response to the latest allegations from former gaming regulators, which also included claims that the watchdog was followed by Crown staff during his visit to the casino and denied access to certain areas Crown, Premier Andrews said he was aware of “significant deficiencies” with the regulator which merged with the liquor boards in 2012 under the then liberal state government.