Friday, September 30, 2022
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The Star Entertainment deemed unsuitable to hold licence in NSW

The New South Wales Independent Casino Commission (NICC) has issued The Star Entertainment Group with a show cause notice, following an inquiry into the group’s suitability.

The report by Adam Bell found that The Star Entertainment Group was unsuitable to hold a licence and the regulator is now considering what punitive action it will take, which could see Star have said licence revoked. 

NSW Independent Casino Commission Chief Commissioner Philip Crawford said of the findings: “The report is, quite frankly, shocking. It provides evidence of an extensive compliance breakdown in key areas of The Star’s business.

“Not only were huge amounts of money disguised by the casino as hotel expenses, but vast sums of cash evaded anti-money laundering protocols in numerous situations, most alarmingly through Salon 95 – the secret room with a second cash cage.”

A public inquiry was launched into the Australian casino operator after allegations of money laundering, organised crime, foreign interference and fraud were made by 60 minutes and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Following the inquiry, several members of The Star’s executive team resigned – including former Chairman John O’Neill – prompting the group to claim the overhaul allowed it to continue holding a casino licence.

As reported on Monday by Gambling Insider, trading was halted on Star’s shares pending the release of the report; with the operator issuing a statement that read: “The Star is yet to receive a copy of the report, which has not been released publicly, and a trading halt is requested pending the public release of the report, which The Star understands will be made on Tuesday 13 September 2022.”

However, now the report has been published, the suitability of The Star Entertainment Group has been brought into serious question.

Fellow Australian operator Crown Resorts has found itself in similar holes recently, although it never actually lost the licence it was deemed unfit to hold at Crown Melbourne. So what, by comparison, will happen to The Star?

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