Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence
Appendix L

Work of the Commission

  1. On 22 February 2021, I was appointed Commissioner and Chairperson of the Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence pursuant to letters patent issued by the Governor of Victoria under section 5 of the Inquiries Act 2014 (Vic).1
  2. On 16 March 2021, I issued a Practice Direction advising interested parties of the process for making applications for leave to appear.2 This Practice Direction, along with all others issued by the Commission, was made available on the Commission’s website.
  3. The first hearing was held on 24 March 2021. At that hearing I outlined how the Commission would operate and how it proposed to gather relevant information.3
  4. Mr Adrian Finanzio, SC, senior Counsel Assisting the Commission, provided further details of the processes to be followed. He said:
    • subject matter experts would be retained
    • interviews would be conducted with relevant people
    • documents would be obtained from a number of organisations
    • witnesses would be called to give evidence
    • interested members of the public would be invited to make submissions.
  5. Information about public submissions, witnesses and hearings can be found in Appendices M and N.
  6. Commission staff:
    • interviewed potential witnesses
    • held targeted discussions with CALD community representatives
    • translated and distributed relevant material in eight languages explaining what the Commission was about, how to make a submission, and the Terms of Reference
    • met with representatives from the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, the Victorian Multicultural Commission, and the Alliance for Gambling Reform
    • sent letters to a targeted range of organisations and community groups inviting them to make a written submission.
  7. The Commission issued 220 notices under the Inquiries Act requiring the production of documents or information. In response, approximately 110,750 documents were produced. 2997 documents were tendered as exhibits. As at 30 September 2021, 262 exhibits had not been published on the website due to orders requiring their confidentiality.
  8. As required by the Inquiries Act, all documents and material have been transferred to the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Public Record Office Victoria. The Department is responsible for responding to requests to access the records, including those made under the Public Records Act 1973 (Vic) and the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic).
  9. On 5 March 2021, the Perth Casino Royal Commission (PCRC) commenced in Western Australia. The PCRC was established to undertake inquiries into the operation of the casino operated by Crown Resorts in Perth, Western Australia.
  10. The Commission monitored the work of the PCRC and entered into an information-sharing arrangement. Information that was requested by, and shared with, the PCRC included:
    • expert witness reports related to Crown’s approach to junket operators, AML, CUP and the responsible service of gaming
    • notices to produce and requests for statements.
  11. The Commission also engaged with the PCRC at an operational level about the systems and processes it had established.
  12. The Commission was also required to work with the review into Victoria’s casino regulatory framework (Regulatory Review) established by the Victorian Government. The Regulatory Review ran concurrently with the Commission.4
  13. A number of topics and issues were within the scope of both the Regulatory Review and the Commission, including:
    • the current structural and governance arrangements of the regulator
    • emerging risks in casino regulation
    • the appropriateness of the regulatory framework in Victoria relating to junket operations, money laundering, and inquiry and audit powers
    • commercial agreements and contracts entered into by Crown Melbourne
    • any legislative changes that may be required to give effect to any recommended changes.
  14. Commission staff engaged with the Regulatory Review Team as necessary to work cooperatively and avoid duplication.


1 See Appendices A, B and C.

2 Practice Direction 1, Applications for Leave to Appear, 16 March 2021.

3 Transcript of opening statements, 24 March 2021.

4 Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence, Letters Patent, cl 8, 14(c)–(e). (See Appendix A).

Reviewed 25 October 2021