Robert Chappell finally has been fired from his position as the head of the Adelaide Gambling Authority. In a continuation of the move that have mystified many people, Chappell was let go.
However, he was asked to leave after a paid leave that lasted 10 months starting September last year. The state government has been tight-lipped about how much the gambling watchdog’s long-standing head was paid during his hiatus from work. They also haven’t shed any light on whether he was given a termination package over and above that.
Robert Chappell’s Termination
The timing of Chappell’s termination has been very intriguing. This is because it lines up with SkyCity’s decision to go ahead with its plans to redevelop Adelaide Casino. It is worth pointing out that the Gambling Authority has been at loggerheads with the State Government. They had disagreements over gaming concessions for the $330 million project. The talks had come to a halt three months ago. This is because the parties could not come to a mutually suitable agreement.
The Adelaide Gambling Authority has a significant role to lay in the gambling industry in the state of South Australia because it oversees a wide range of activities such as casino gambling, racing, sports betting, lotteries, and gaming machines installed in clubs, hotels, and other places.
Attorney-General John Rau Speaks Up About Robert Chappell’s Termination
Attorney-General John Rau tried to shed some light on the reasons for the ex-Gambling Authority chief finally being let go from his job. There had been many questions whether the action against Robert Chappell had been the result of a complaint against him because of the SkyCity issue. Rau was emphatic in denying that Chappell’s departure from the gambling watchdog was connected with his stand about SkyCity. He also said that he couldn’t give any answers about the issue until he received advice about it.
Rau, while participating in an Estimates hearing in the state Parliament, said that senior bureaucrat Jeanette Barnes would take charge of the independent gambling watchdog on a temporary basis. He also said that the Adelaide Gambling Authority might dissolve the post formerly occupied by Chappell and currently by Barnes.
There are doubts that the IGA’s leadership configuration is unsuitable to meet its role. However, Rau said that it wasn’t appropriate to discuss the issue at present. He said that the plans for dissolving the post were for the long term. He admitted that the current scenario gave the government the opportunity to consider various options.
Mr. Rau is also expected to release a wide ranging review of the gambling industry in South Australia conducted by retired judge Tim Anderson. The review was delivered to the state government earlier in the year.
Robert Chappell Starts New Innings at Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation
Mr. Chappell has started new innings as Casino Licence Review director in the neighbouring state of Victoria. He is currently employed by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation. However, he wasn’t available for any comment regarding any of the issues he has been involved in at the present time.
Spokesman of the opposition, Stephan Knoll, said that there were too many questions raised by Mr. Chappell’s departure from the Adelaide Gambling Authority. He said that Mr. Rau did not provide sufficient clarity on the subject. He said that lawmakers deserved to know why exactly Mr. Chappell was put on leave and why his employment was then terminated. Mr. Knoll also pointed out that there were many other examples of the Government making huge payouts to terminated employees and then trying to hide what it had done.
The lack of transparency in the issue has only served to reduce confidence that the government is managing the gambling industry along the right lines. There are also rumblings that the Adelaide Gambling Authority isn’t as independent as it ought to be.