To the Hon Dr Tony Buti MLA
Minister for Finance; Aboriginal Affairs; Racing and Gaming; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests
In accordance with section 63 of the Financial Management Act 2006, I hereby submit for your information and presentation to Parliament, the Annual Report of the Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia for the financial year ending
30 June 2022. The Annual Report has been prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Financial Management Act 2006.
The financial statements comply with Australian Accounting Standards — Simplified Disclosures issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board.
23 November 2022
Colin MurphyCommission MemberGaming and Wagering Commission23 November 2022
The past year has been one of significant challenge, change and renewal for the Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia (the Commission).
The Perth Casino Royal Commission, which commenced in March 2021, continued for most of 2021-22, with the Final Report being tabled in State Parliament on 24 March 2022. Commission members participated in the public hearings of the Perth Casino
Royal Commission, made written submissions and responded to requests for information.
The Commission has, and will continue to work hard to address issues identified by the Perth Casino Royal Commission and has put in place plans for further improvements through its strategic priorities program. There has been a focus on the governance
and integrity framework, with the Commission endorsing policies and establishing registers for conflicts of interest and for gifts, benefits, and hospitality. An enhanced induction process for Commission members, which includes updated accountable
and ethical decision-making training, was also introduced.
Priority legislative amendments were introduced into Parliament on 22 June 2022 to provide the Commission with the necessary powers to restore integrity into the State’s only casino. It is anticipated that the new legislation will be enacted
early in the 2022-23 financial year.
The Minister for Racing and Gaming, the Hon. Dr Tony Buti MLA, announced on 10 June 2022 that global investment group Blackstone had been granted the necessary approvals to facilitate the acquisition of Crown Resorts Ltd. This was a significant
activity during the year that included extensive, multi-jurisdictional probity investigations, which enabled the Commission to grant probity approval to the relevant Blackstone group entities and associated individuals.
The approvals granted, which were subject to various conditions, covered Blackstone’s proposed and future shareholdings of Burswood Nominees Limited (Ltd) and securities over the casino gaming licence, site, and resort complex, in accordance
with the Casino (Burswood Island) Agreement Act 1985 and the Casino Control Act 1984.
The privatisation and sale process of the WA TAB, which had been placed on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, re-commenced in October 2021. There was considerable interest through the expression of interest phase leading to the 16-week binding
offer process which commenced on 6 May 2022.
The Department of Treasury is leading this work on behalf of the State Government with the Commission responsible for a number of regulatory approvals. It is expected, pending a suitable offer, the sale will be finalised in mid to late 2023. The
sale of the WA TAB will result in a substantial amount of work for the Commission in 2022-23 as it implements a new regulatory regime for the private wagering licensee.
Against a background of these significant pieces of work — the Perth Casino Royal Commission, the Blackstone acquisition and preparation for the sale of the WA TAB — as well as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am proud of
the regulatory work that the Commission and officers of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC), who support the Commission, have continued with, including issuing community gaming permits and casino employee
licences, as well as overseeing audits and investigations across the State.
To ensure that consumers were protected, and the industries were operating in accordance with the legislative requirements, over 2200 licences were administered, the Commission issued more than 1800 community gaming permits and certificates
in accordance with relevant legislation and more than 5300 inspection and audit activities were conducted during 2021-22.
The minimisation of harm to individuals and the Western Australian community remains at the forefront of the Commission’s considerations. The Commission, through the Problem Gambling Support Services Committee, continued to fund
the Problem Gambling Helpline and Gambling Help WA, both of which provide free counselling services for people impacted by problem gambling.
There has been significant change to the membership of the Commission during the 2021-22 period, with four new members and five outgoing members. The new members — Mr Michael Sarquis, Mr Colin Murphy, Dr Michael Schaper,
and Ms Deirdre O’Donnell — bring with them a wealth of experience, particularly around regulation, which will be of great benefit to the Commission in performing its regulatory role.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the dedication of outgoing members — Ms Carmelina Fiorentino, Ms Jodie Meadows, Ms Matilda Prowse, Mr Barry Sargeant, and Mr Steve Dobson — and thank them for
their contribution to the operation of the Commission throughout their tenure.
I would also like to thank the staff of DLGSC who supported the Commission throughout the year. The amount of support required was much greater this year because of the work involved in responding to the requests from the
Perth Casino Royal Commission. On behalf of the Commission, I would like to acknowledge the professionalism and commitment of DLGSC staff as they supported the Commission during this busy period.
The legislative amendments introduced into Parliament also incorporated the recommendation of the Perth Casino Royal Commission that the Commission has an independent chairperson, so this will likely be my final annual
report as ex officio Chairperson. While the final details of the new regulatory environment that the Commission will operate under in the post-Royal Commission environment are still to be determined by Government,
I am confident that the function of the Commission will be further enhanced by the work that has been achieved in the past year.
I look forward to the appointment of the new Chairperson and I wish them every success in leading the Commission as it continues its important work of regulating gaming and wagering in Western Australia.
Gaming and Wagering Commission
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