Queensland fines The Star AU$100m for casino failings
A special manager has been appointed to monitor The Star Entertainment Group’s two Queensland casinos.
Australia.- Queensland has announced disciplinary action against The Star Entertainment after the state’s review of the operator found it unsuitable to continue holding a casino licence. Queensland attorney-general Shannon Fentiman MP and the state regulator, the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation
(OLGR), has imposed a fine of AU$100m (US$68m).
The operator’s The Treasury Brisbane and The Star Gold Coast casino licences are to be suspended for 90 days on a deferred basis from December 1, 2023. Nicholas Weeks has been appointed as special manager to monitor the operations of Treasury Brisbane and The Star Gold Coast. Weeks had already ben appointed as special manager of The Star Sydney casino on October 21. The cost will be met by The Star.
Fentiman said: “Queensland casinos must operate with integrity – and it is clear that there have been major failings by the Star group and its entities. Like many Queenslanders, I was appalled at the extent of the actions of The Star in welcoming excluded persons to their casinos and the exorbitant incentives on offer for questionable gamblers.”
The financial penalty will be paid in instalments on March 31 ($30m), June 30 ($30m) and December 31 ($40m). The deferred licence suspension is intended to give The Star an opportunity to remediate its management and operations to return to a position before it takes effect.
Fentiman said it was possible for significant penalties to be applied due to recent reforms to the 1982 Casino Control Act, which passed in the Queensland Parliament in October.
She added: “Having a special manager that monitors the operations of The Star in both states will ensure they will be looked at as one operating entity and provide consistency across jurisdictions.
“It’s also important that we have a person on the ground here in Queensland, which is why Ms Terri Hamilton will be the Queensland Manager Assisting and will join Mr Weeks’ very skilled and capable team.”
Weeks served as CEO and head of integrity in the National Football League. He was appointed as executive general manager of transformation and regulatory response at Crown Resorts after the Melbourne Royal Commission found the casino operator unsuitable.
Hamilton is currently Queensland Portable Long Service Leave Authority and chair of its Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. He was admitted by the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1985 and has extensive experience in the regulated financial services industry, having led the risk, compliance and governance teams at Sunsuper and serving as its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing officer.
NSW Independent Casino Commission chief commissioner Philip Crawford said Weeks‘ appointment was a sensible move for Queensland “This will ensure The Star acts consistently and complies with their obligations – no matter which state they operate in,” he said.