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Commonwealth Government Adopts and Acts on Centium Report

November 7, 2016

The Commonwealth Government Minister for Territories, Fiona Nash, has acted on a recent report delivered by Centium to provide greater protection to online gamblers and the Australian thoroughbred racing industry.

The Norfolk Island Gaming Authority exposed Australia's thoroughbred industry to global criticism last year when it granted a national licence to BetHQ – closely linked to the world's biggest illegal bookmaker, Citibet.

The Australian government subsequently ordered the authority to stop issuing new licences while Centium conducted a review. The Centium review found that the Authority had operated without transparency or basic integrity controls and was therefore highly vulnerable to fraud and corruption.

But now Territories Minister Fiona Nash says the authority will be scrapped altogether.

"Gambling in Australia must be carefully regulated to ensure the integrity of our sport and to protect consumers," Senator Nash said.

"Centium's report made it abundantly clear that the authority is beyond redemption and that these problems cannot be resolved satisfactorily. As a result, I am entirely confident that closing the authority is the right thing to do."

Centium is proud to have earned the Minister’s trust as a result of the extensive governance and regulatory review it undertook and is very pleased to have its report published by the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Review Details: Centium was engaged by the Norfolk Island Administration to conduct a performance review of the Norfolk Island Gaming Authority in April/May 2016, just prior to the integration of the Island with the Commonwealth, with the key objectives of:

  • identifying the Authority’s key strategic and operational risks;
  • conducting a legal due diligence review of the Authority including an assessment of the legislative framework in which it operates;
  • reviewing the Authority’s strategic and business planning framework;
  • assessing the Authority’s internal control framework;
  • assessing the Authority’s compliance with its legislative obligations;
  • reviewing the Authority’s structure and organisation;
  • reviewing applicant and licensee pricing methods;
  • examining applicant review and approval processes; and
  • assessing the expectations of key stakeholders

The objective of the review was not to conduct an investigation, nor was it to determine whether the Authority should be shut down.

This was no mean feat and required the expertise of our legal team including the former NSW TAB Corporate Counsel and Probity & Legal Advisor to NSW Greyhound Racing; specialists from our governance, risk and compliance team; and specialists from our gaming and regulation team including the former Commissioner of NSW Gaming & Racing.

Our analysis involved the detailed examination of reams of records and artefacts; consultations with Administration and Authority personnel as well as applicants, operators and licensees; discussions with cross jurisdictional regulators; review of legislation, Hansard reports and Parliamentary notes; and more.

Our review found that the Authority had failed to fulfil its regulatory role to an acceptable level and that internal controls were inadequate such that the environment could give rise to fraud and corruption. Much of this was due to under-resourcing and the lack of basic governance, risk and compliance controls that one would expect to find in any such organisation.

Centium was subsequently requested to conduct a cost analysis to determine what resources would be required to operate the Authority in an effective way. That report, too, was well received by the Commonwealth and other stakeholders and has been published on the Commonwealth website.

Centium – Experience Unequalled: This demonstrates one of the many benefits of engaging Centium and how we live up to our mantra of “experience unequalled”. With our accumulated knowledge and network built over a 30-year period, we are able to pull together experts from just about any field including regulatory, gaming, health, finance, emergency management, education, local government and other verticals. For example, we’ve recently been appointed to an approved panel to provide QLD Health with sterilisation service advice and training. We have magistrates, barristers, former Mayors, former Commissioners, former Council Chief Executives, environmental scientists, registered nurses, qualified engineers, registered investigators, data scientists with PhDs in the area, HR and change management experts, WHS specialists, ethical hackers, registered tax accountants, certified auditors, ISO14001 Lead Auditors, ISO 9000 Lead Auditors, ISO 27001 Lead Auditors, museum curators, Chief Audit Executives and so many other talents across our proven team of experts.

Given our range of expertise, and our intelligent thinking, clients are starting to see us as the “go to” firm for “difficult projects” for which there are no precedents; those which require specialist methodologies to be developed based on bespoke, empirical, defensible approaches.

Centium’s reports were recently cited by various media reports which you can read here and here.

To find out more about Centium can help your organisation, contact any of our Directors either by phoning 1300 BEST 100 or emailing info@centium.com.au

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