The state’s new liquor regulator, Liquor Control Victoria, has today been established and will play a vital role in helping reduce liquor-related harm and ensuring the liquor industry continues to receive the strongest regulatory oversight.
Liquor Control Victoria will see liquor regulation brought within the Department of Justice and Community Safety, with the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) retaining responsibility for gambling and casino oversight.
Liquor Control Victoria comprises Victorian Liquor Commissioners and staff from the Department of Justice and Community Safety.
The new regulator will perform a number of important functions, including undertaking licensing, approval, authorisation, and registration activities and monitoring and responding to breaches of liquor regulations.
The Andrews Labor Government has also provided additional powers to the VGCCC to hold the casino operator to account which come in effect from today, including new powers to give inspectors greater access to books and surveillance equipment at the casino.
Changes to the VGCCC also explicitly embed gambling harm minimisation as part of the VGCCC’s core business and improve powers to take action against Crown Melbourne if it fails to abide by the gambling code of conduct.
The new laws mean a single breach of the code is grounds for disciplinary action. Previously the VGCCC could only initiate disciplinary action after repeated breaches of the gambling code.
The VGCCC’s casino inspectors will also have enhanced powers and functions in response to recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence.
Further reforms that respond to all remaining Royal Commission recommendations are set to be introduced later this year.
As stated by Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne
“Liquor Control Victoria will provide the strongest possible level of industry oversight.”
“The VGCCC’s new powers will make a huge difference in reducing gambling related harm for all Victorians and ensuring the casino operates appropriately.”