Counsel Naomi Sharp SC has concluded her arguments, saying that Star facilitated money laundering, organised crime, fraud and foreign interference at its Sydney casino.
Australia.- The New South Wales inquiry into The Star Entertainment Group has today (Friday) heard the final statements of Counsel Naomi Sharp SC. Sharp explained the main reasons why she believes that The Star Entertainment Group is unsuitable to hold a casino licence in Sydney.
Sharp reaffirmed that the company enabled suspicious money laundering, organised crime, fraud and foreign interference at its Sydney casino. Furthermore, she claimed that the Star was prepared to create false documents and mislead NAB about payments.
On Wednesday, she said more than 1,300 VIP guests used banned China Union Pay cards in almost 2,000 transactions from 2013 to March 2020, despite the practice being prohibited by the card operator.
Shap also accused the casino operator of not being transparent and of repeatedly violating the Casino Control Law by letting high rollers use Chinese debit cards to get cash to play. The inquiry had heard that around AU$900m was processed on the CUP cards before CUP terminals in Star venues were disabled in 2020.
As for claims regarding tax, Sharp said there was insufficient evidence that the Star had moved clients from its international to the local program to minimise the tax payable to the NSW government. However, she said there was evidence that customers were misclassified and that the Star may have neglected to notify regulators of underpayment.
She also referred to the resignation of many members of the board and stated: “Merely parting company with a number of senior executives and embarking on a program of board renewal is not enough to change the culture of the organisation.”
The inquiry will continue on June 14 when The Star is to respond to the submissions.