The inquiry into Star’s Queensland establishment – The Star Gold Coast – is being very productive, with the storyline, unfortunately, mimicking that of The Star Sydney. Multiple breaches and downright illegalities have surfaced from the second review into Star’s operations and today’s story is about expensive gifts to players banned from playing in attempts to lure them to Gold Coast.
Expensive Player in More Than One Ways
The third day of the public hearing took place today(Wednesday, August 24), with further public hearings scheduled for the remainder of the week and another one for next Monday, August 29. On today’s hearing, as per the Guardian’s report, Christopher Peasley – president of domestic and international casino marketing at The Star Entertainment Group – has apparently confirmed Star has knowingly and actively enticed a player banned from The Star Sydney by NSW police to continue gaming in its Gold Coast establishment in Queensland.
This must – obviously – be a huge oversight, right? It seems it wasn’t, as Mr. Peasley has also confirmed that even after “regular contact” with Star’s AML team, the conclusion was still to treat the unnamed person “the same as any other customers of the player level,” regardless of the 2007 ban of said person from attending The Star Sydney. As per the report, Star gave the player an expensive Rolex watch and free accommodation in its QLD establishment.
It’s important to note that even if a person was banned in Star’s Queensland or Sydney locations, The Sydney Morning Herald has confirmed that staff was expected to adhere to the ban and not allow the banned person entry without the aid of any facial recognition technology.
When It Rains, It Pours
The review into The Star’s Queensland operations began on June 14 with an initial public hearing, followed by the second public hearing on Tuesday, when another unpleasantry reared its face. The Star was found to be actively promoting to and recruiting high-risk gamblers to its QLD enterprise. According to the transcripts, a person named “Witness A” has remarked there wasn’t an adequate measure in place to deal with problem gamblers on the premise even if they were identified. So, no matter how it has happened, if there’s a suspected problem gambler in the Gold Coast’s halls, apparently, it’s an employee’s job to “approach somebody that might be suffering from gambling harm.” That’s obviously not good enough and it might even be entirely inappropriate, as Witness A says “there’s a conflict of interest, that someone who is paid by the profits of gambling would want someone to stop gambling.”
The review itself might be coming as a bit of a cold shower for Star, as its NSW establishment – The Star Sydney – was put under the microscope and was found to be committing an extensive list of breaches according to NSW regulations. New South Wales did indeed start a huge reformative process in its regulation, following QLD’s example. The changes in Queensland were so much tougher than before that it was thought that an inquiry into Star’s Gold Coast wasn’t going to be necessary. However, given how damning the Sydney inquiry was, and how negatively productive this second one is, apparently this was indeed the right call, as it’s bad for the entire industry if operators don’t play by the rules. The report to the attorney general from this review, heard by Judge Robert Gotterson, will be made by September 30.