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Changes To Club Committee
Associate, BSP Lawyers
In recent months, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) has demonstrated a significant attitudinal change to regulatory non-compliance, resulting in stricter and more rigorous disciplinary action against venue operators in Victoria, including clubs.
The VCGLR has now begun to take formal disciplinary action more frequently for non-compliance with the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 and the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 and it is important for all venue operators to ensure that they are not caught out as a result. The simple truth is that even inadvertent or accidental breaches that may appear ‘harmless’ on the surface are being taken very seriously – since every breach is a reflection of whether the VCGLR is adequately regulating the industry to a satisfactory standard.
All operators should be ensuring that they continue to stay informed and up to date regarding changes in policy with the VCGLR and should regularly conduct internal reviews and audits to ensure that the VCGLR has been advised of all relevant notifications.
While venue operators will most likely be aware of the ordinary notification requirements – as a reminder, these include notifying the VCGLR where there are changes to associates or nominees and changes to corporate structure – some of the notification requirements are less well known. Some of the key requirements are included in a prescribed set of changes in a document titled ‘Directions under Section 10.4A.4 to Gambling Industry Participants’.
Clubs in a particular can also fall victim to failures to notify the VCGLR for changes in associates and/or nominees following elections – most commonly a failure to notify the Commission of the change, but also failing to lodge any approval documentation for the new committee member or new nominee within the set time limits.
The biggest mistake a venue operator can make is to assume that the VCGLR will not take breaches seriously, and the best protection to stay out of the firing line is to have a well-structured system to minimise any risks of non-compliance.
When non-compliance issues are discovered, we will ordinarily strongly recommend considering self-reporting to the Commission to avoid more severe sanctions in the case of breaches being detected by the Commission themselves.
If you have any specific questions regarding particular operations or practices, we would encourage you to raise them with CCV or to seek specific legal advice.