The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has announced a comprehensive inquiry aimed at creating a fairer and more modern regulatory framework for bingo. This initiative seeks to engage industry stakeholders and the community to enhance the social, safe, and fair aspects of the game. The inquiry promises to reshape the gaming landscape, ensuring that the beloved game of bingo remains enjoyable while safeguarding its integrity.

Bingo participation in Victoria has seen a remarkable surge, 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) in the last financial year alone. This tremendous growth showcases bingo’s enduring popularity across various communities, offering not only social interaction and opportunities to win prizes but also directing a portion of proceeds to charitable causes.

“In recent years, the commercial bingo landscape has modernized, transitioning from traditional paper-based gameplay to electronic enhancements with substantial jackpots,” VGCCC Chair Fran Thorn noted in a recent statement. With technology increasingly influencing the game, the VGCCC 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,” Thorn emphasized. Despite regulatory oversight, ongoing concerns remain, and the VGCCC continues to receive reports and allegations of unlicensed operators and potentially fraudulent activities. In response, the inquiry will investigate:

  • The adequacy of current bingo regulations
  • The vulnerability of cash-based transactions to criminal activities
  • The extent to which profits support community organizations

One of the primary motivations for this inquiry is to preserve the social aspect of bingo. As Thorn explained, “This is an opportunity to really understand how bingo works and how it is evolving with technology. 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 behaviors threatening the integrity and fairness of the game.”

The VGCCC is committed to engaging both the community and industry stakeholders throughout this inquiry. By doing so, they aim to create a regulatory framework that not only modernizes the game but also protects players from potential harm. This collaborative approach ensures that the voices of those directly impacted by bingo regulations are heard and considered in the decision-making process.

The comprehensive inquiry by the VGCCC marks a significant step toward ensuring that bingo remains a cherished activity within Victoria’s communities. By addressing key concerns and modernizing regulations, the VGCCC aims to protect players, uphold the integrity of the game, and support the charitable causes that benefit from bingo proceeds.

As the inquiry progresses, the VGCCC encourages bingo enthusiasts, community members, and industry stakeholders to stay informed and get involved. This collective effort will ensure that the game of bingo continues to thrive in a safe, fair, and socially beneficial manner.

The VGCCC’s inquiry into modernizing and safeguarding bingo in Victoria is a crucial initiative that addresses the evolving landscape of the game. By engaging with the community and industry stakeholders, the VGCCC aims to create a fairer and more modern regulatory framework. This will not only enhance the enjoyment of bingo but also protect its integrity and ensure that it continues to support charitable causes.Stay tuned for updates on this important initiative and how you can contribute to the future of bingo in Victoria. For those passionate about the game, this is your chance to be part of a transformative journey that will shape the future of bingo for years to come.

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