The Australian federal government has given orders for the Norfolk Island Gaming Authority to be shut down, after an investigative report listed glaring concerns regarding its operations.
The authority, which is responsible for issuing many Australian gambling licenses, was found to have failed in its regulatory role and had internal controls which had the potential to "give rise to fraud and corruption."
Concerns included conflicts of interest in appointments, lack of transparency and oversight, and a disregard for regulation.
The report, which followed a two month investigation of the authority and the Norfolk Island Administration, concluded that the Australian territory should "not continue to operate in its current form."
Power to License Revoked
In April this year, the Norfolk Island Gaming Authority had its power to license betting operators revoked by Paul Fletcher who then served as federal minister for territories.
An investigation was ordered by the federal minister for local government and territories, Fiona Nash, and the assessor, Centium found that the authority is "largely ineffective".
Centium also found that the authority had "failed to fulfill its regulatory role to an acceptable level."
Betting agencies have been given until March next year to find licenses with other jurisdictions.
Reasons for Shutting Gambling Authority
Some of the issues raised in the report showed:
- A lack of basic control elements such as risk registers, segregation of duties and government and reporting structures.
- A lottery agency's CEO was appointed to provide regulatory services. "There is a clear conflict of interest between the authority and a person it regulates," read the report. The board should have been advised of this conflict. Importantly, none of the licensees interviewed by us were aware of his senior position with a competing licensee.'