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NICC Chief wins international gaming award

NICC Chief Commissioner, Philip Crawford, has been awarded the 2023 International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) Regulator of the Year - Australasia. 

The accolade was awarded for Mr Crawford's contributions to the field of casino regulation in Australia.

Philip Crawford and Jamie Nettleton

The award was announced in February this year at the IMGL reception during the ICE conference in London, a largescale global gaming event and exhibition. It was received on Mr Crawford’s behalf by Jamie Nettleton, former IMGL president and gambling law partner of Addisons in Sydney, and presented by him to Mr Crawford at the NICC’s June board meeting.

The IMGL is a not-for-profit group of legal representatives who specialise in gambling law. Mr Crawford was nominated for his commitment to implementing reforms to NSW casino legislation and ushering in a new era of compliance in the NSW and Australian casino industry.

“Mr Crawford’s tenure at the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority and his move to the NICC has been marked by a steadfast commitment to raising compliance standards and meeting community expectations,” Mr Nettleton said.

“Mr Crawford has been proactive in his approach to addressing casino operator suitability issues, as well as issues brought to light by the inquiries, including the risks of money laundering, breaches of the law and cultures of non-compliance.

“The inquiries led by Mr Crawford have resulted in lasting improvements in regulatory outcomes as well as significant changes to the regulatory framework in NSW.

“His leadership in implementing the recommendations from the Bergin and Bell inquiries has transformed the way casino business is conducted and regulated in Australia, setting a new standard for the industry.”

The other 2023 candidate for the award was a regulator from Buenos Aires, Argentina: Martin Garcia Santillan. 

When accepting the award, Mr Crawford said the accomplishments of the new regulator were not his alone.

“There were many people involved in and committed to improving casino regulation in NSW and across the other jurisdictions,” Mr Crawford said.

“I am glad to be able to make a difference to the safety and sustainability of the industry and to tackle the risks of harm head on.”

The IMGL award serves as a reminder of the critical role regulators play in maintaining the integrity of the gambling sector and the importance of recognition for those who go above and beyond in their commitment to public service and the betterment of gambling industry standards.