The New South Wales Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) has announced that Adam Bell SC will carry out public hearings into The Star Casino from 17 March 2022.
The independent review into the Australian casino operator has thus far largely been conducted privately, but Bell will now conduct hearings on a number of issues where he has determined that witnesses should be giving evidence publicly.
According to ILGA Chair Philip Crawford, Bell will be given the powers, authorities, protections and immunities of a Royal Commission while conducting the review.
Crawford commented: “Mr Bell’s review will consider how effectively The Star is complying with its statutory obligations and whether it remains suitable to hold a casino licence.
“This includes examining to what extent the casino is free from the infiltration of criminal interests such as money laundering and how well it is administering its obligations to minimise gaming harms.
“The Star is responsible for ensuring adequate anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing systems are in place and for thoroughly vetting and managing relationships with close associates, junket partners and high rollers.”
The review, which is established under the Casino Control Act 1992, was commissioned in October 2021 by the ILGA. The authority added that public hearings will be carried out virtually, with the public hearings representing the concluding phase of the review before Bell delivers his findings in June.
Crawford added: “We have every confidence that the review will thoroughly investigate The Star’s current operations, compliance with its statutory obligations, and make appropriate recommendations for remedial action if necessary.”
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