Western Australia’s government will retain control over who sits on the Perth casino regulatory body despite concerns voiced by a royal commission.
The McGowan government on Thursday released its formal response to the inquiry, supporting 49 of the recommendations and backing a further eight in principle.
One other suggestion was not applicable due to WA’s ban on pokies outside of the casino.
Partial support was provided to a recommendation for the Gaming and Wagering commission to develop a «member skills matrix» and a nominations committee.
The royal commission last year found Crown resorts casino online was unsuitable to run the state’s casino but gave the operator two years to clean up its act under independent monitoring.
It found Crown and its subsidiaries facilitated money laundering at the casino, failed to implement systems to detect suspicious transactions and permitted junkets with criminal links to operate at the Burswood complex.
The inquiry highlighted a lack of casino regulation experience among Gaming and Wagering Commission members, some of whom held close relationships with Crown staff.
It was told the commission had opted not to investigate allegations of money laundering against Crown after the the company’s «persuasive» former legal boss told them it was a media beat-up.
While he supported the recommendation for a skills matrix, Racing and Gaming Minister Reece Whitby said a nominations committee was unnecessary.
«Under the act it’s my responsibility to make those appointments, so I think that is the right way to proceed,» he told reporters.
«I think if you look at the membership that we’ve got at the moment, it’s absolutely spot on.»
The McGowan government is rewriting the state’s gaming laws and has increased the maximum penalty for non-compliance by the operator to $100 million.
It has appointed an independent chair and six new members to the Gaming and Wagering Commission and tasked former assistant police commissioner Paul Steel with overseeing the casino’s remediation process.
Crown, which was taken over last year by US private equity giant Blackstone, has been directed to implement a $10 per spin maximum bet on electronic gaming machines on the main casino floor from July 1.
A Crown spokesman said the company was committed to working constructively with WA authorities and the independent monitor to implement the royal commission’s findings.
«Under new ownership and management, our Future Crown program has accelerated our whole-of-company reform and is transforming our business into a Crown that exceeds the expectations of our stakeholders and the community,» he said.