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16 March 2020

Ministerial statement: Statement on Casino Control Act

The NSW Government will introduce a Bill to amend section 143 of the Casino Control Act to clarify that the powers given to the Hon. Patricia Bergin SC are equivalent to that of a Royal Commissioner and have the effect of abrogating legal privilege.

The Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of New South Wales delivered its judgment in Attorney General v Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd [2020] NSWCA 40 on 12 March 2020.

The Court of Appeal found that the primary judge erred in her construction of section 143A of the Casino Control Act. In particular, the Court held that the primary judge erred in concluding that section 17(1) of the Royal Commissions Act 1923 did not confer a power or authority on the Commissioner empowering her to compel the production of legally privileged documents.

The proposed legislation confirms this interpretation and aims to provide certainty for all parties involved in the Inquiry.

Although the Supreme Court’s judgement allowed ILGA’s Inquiry to continue with hearings, Melco Resorts still has the right to apply for Special Leave to Appeal to the High Court of Australia.

The Inquiry has, despite the efficiency of the Court process, already suffered a delay of more than one month because of the position taken by Melco Resorts.

MEDIA: William Sparling │ 0408 576 636