The Victorian government’s ongoing embarrassment about lax regulation of Crown Melbourne was highlighted again last night when no less than five former gaming inspectors turned whistleblowers on ABC's Four Corners. And when you even have a former Victorian gaming minister, Tony Robinson, slamming the regulator, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), as a joke, something clearly has to give.
Perhaps the most startling revelation last night came from former VCGLR CEO Peter Cohen, who admitted it was his idea in 2004 that the Victorian Parliament legislate to hand over regulation of junket operators to Crown itself because it was too big a task for the regulator. Talk about regulatory capture!
Crown is continuing to come under sustained pressure from the Finkelstein royal commission, which will wrap up public hearings this week with Crown Resorts chair Helen Coonan scheduled to appear. But after the five former Victorian gaming inspectors spoke out on Four Corners last night, surely the case for another extension and a broadening of the terms of reference is warranted, so the regulator itself can be examined.