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The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) announced a comprehensive inquiry aimed at creating a fairer and more modern regulatory framework for bingo. In a , the VGCCC said that this initiative seeks to engage industry stakeholders and the community to enhance the game’s social, safe, and fair aspects. 

Significant growth in bingo participation 

Bingo participation in Victoria has seen remarkable growth, with a 70 percent increase in turnover since 2015. Financial records indicate a rise from $64 million (€39.2 million) to $107 million (€65.5 million) last financial year. Bingo remains a popular game across various communities, offering social interaction and opportunities to win prizes, with a portion of proceeds directed to charitable causes. 

"In recent years, the commercial bingo landscape has modernised, transitioning from traditional paper-based gameplay to electronic enhancements with substantial jackpots," Fran Thorn, VGCCC Chair, said in a statement. 

Addressing fairness and integrity 

With the evolution of bingo, the aims to assess and address concerns related to fairness, integrity, and potential gambling harm, especially among vulnerable groups such as seniors, First Nations communities, women, and lower-income individuals. 

"Given this evolution, it is crucial for us to assess and address issues of fairness, integrity, and the potential for gambling harm, particularly among at-risk groups," said Thorn. She also highlighted ongoing concerns despite regulatory oversight, noting, "We continue to receive reports and allegations of unlicenced operators and potentially fraudulent activities." 

Inquiry focus and objectives 

The inquiry will investigate the adequacy of current bingo regulations, the vulnerability of cash-based transactions to criminal activities, and the extent to which profits support community organizations. 

"This is an opportunity to really understand how bingo works and how it is evolving with technology," Thorn explained. "We understand the social outlet that bingo provides for many community members. We want to understand the risks, reduce the potential for harm, and put a stop to any behaviours threatening the integrity and fairness of the game." 

Call for community participation 

The invites all interested parties, including customers, industry participants, community organisations, and concerned citizens, to engage in the inquiry. Their contributions will be vital in shaping the future of Victoria’s gambling landscape. The VGCCC's proactive approach aims to ensure that bingo remains a safe, enjoyable, and fair activity for all Victorians while addressing modern challenges and safeguarding community interests.

Upcoming SiGMA event: SiGMA East Europe 2024, 2 – 4 September. Find all the details . 
 

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