Perth Regulator Boss Retires Following Department Reshuffle

Duncan Ord has announced his retirement from the Casino Regulation Board of Australia in an effort to cooperate with department rescheduling. Only eight days prior, Ord had given evidence to the Perth Casino Royal Commission. This decision had therefore put his position in jeopardy. In this article, we will break down the impact of Duncan’s resignation and what it means for the department moving forward.

Perth night time skyline.

The Perth Casino regulatory commission is set to see a major reshuffle to its current hierarchical structure, with their current director Duncan Ord retiring in August. ©Mad_Photography_Perth/Pixabay

On Thursday, the department spokesperson Mark McGowan announced a series of changes to the leadership of no fewer than nine government departments. This is partly due to external circumstances but also the actions of some of the current leadership, revealing their lack of commitment to the regulatory board. Duncan Ord will continue as director until the 31st of May and will officially retire in August.

Mr. Ord has captained the Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries since 2017 after his former commission of culture and arts merged with four others. He was in charge of the department for almost 15 years before the merger. Since then, he has remained a reliable figure and stood out as an excellent spokesperson, believing in public transparency across his administrations.

Duncan Ord also chairman’s the Department of Gaming and Wagering, and recently new information has revealed years of suspected money laundering connected to Crown Perth. Ord’s departments have received severe criticisms for their lack of understanding and failure to act, and now the leadership has come under scrutiny.

Hearing’s taking place earlier this week were set to determine the liable cause of the scandal. Ord himself testified in court proceedings; he revealed that he hadn’t completed the necessary training or possessed the qualifications to carry out his duties effectively. These confessions came as a big shock to the regulatory board, which were involved in his continued employment for the last two decades.

Duncan Under the Hammer

Duncan Ord previously worked as a theatre technician, specializing in lighting and backstage management. His sudden transition into casino regulation should’ve raised some flags years ago; however, the recruitment process wasn’t as thorough as it is today. Duncan Ord revealed his lack of expertise in the industry and that he was no longer fit to conduct his duties professionally after three years of service.

The department plans their future without Duncan Ord at the helm, and a new candidate has already been selected to take his place. Ms. Lanie Chopping was approached for the position, and she has accepted their arrangement. She previously worked for the Department of Consumer Protection as their commissioner. Before that, she was a social worker in Perth.

Due to her years of experience in regulatory positions and overall positive years of duty, the commission decided she was the right for the job. It must be said that, like Ord, she has no experience with the casino industry itself. However, her regulatory knowledge and leadership skills are more than enough to conduct herself as the administrative leader.

In February 2021, Mr. Ord informed Lanie Chopping of his desire to retire. In a written letter, he expressed his wishes for her to overtake the position and offered some words of luck. Ms. Chopping has now fully committed herself to undertake the role of director of the casino regulation board. Duncan Ord can finally have some time off after a long career spanning two decades and multiple high-ranking positions.

A Major Reshuffling Across the Board

As previously mentioned, nine different government departments will be affected by the leadership reshuffling, many of whom are connected to consumer interest and the gambling industry. Three other unnamed directors are also retiring this year, with new posts to fill; it’s a race against time to find a suitable candidate and resume their current working system.

The Department of Communities is the largest reshuffling operation out of the lot. They employ roughly 6000 people, as they hope to recruit internally, there will certainly be an extensive interview process. They tackle very serious societal issues such as child protection and housing welfare. They are hoping to replace their director with a candidate with suitable regulatory experience and a strong desire to better the administration as a whole. In a time of severe scandals in the Australian betting industry, this change is very welcomed.

The previous director Paul Whyte in 2020 pleaded guilty to involvement in a $22 million fraud scheme from the Department of Communities; the official details of the case haven’t been revealed as the internal investigation is still ongoing. Mike Rowe is favored to take over as director due to his many years of service within the department.

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