NSW regulator under scrutiny for lack of action against The Star

NSW regulator under scrutiny for lack of action against The Star

An investigation has revealed that since 2016, Star Entertainment Group was fined only three times for an amount less than AU$200,000.

Australia.- A report by The Australian Financial Review has revealed that The Star Entertainment Group has faced 16 disciplinary actions from New South Wales’ Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) since 2016 but only three of these led to fines.

The casino operator faced three fines together totalling AU$199,800. One of the fines was for AU$90,000 and was imposed in 2020 for allowing three underage individuals to enter a casino. Two of the disciplinary measures resulted in “letters of censure”.

In an interview with the Financial Review, an ILGA spokesperson said that a new regulator is on the way that will be able to more effectively address any emerging threats in the casino industry, especially “involving money laundering and other related threats.”

Star Sydney public hearings extended to August 31

The public hearings into The Star Sydney will continue until August 31 after the New South Wales regulator, the ILGA, approved Adam Bell SC’s request for an extension. Bell was originally due to share his inquiry’s results by June.

According to the regulator, Bell asked for more time “to undertake further lines of inquiry to fully discharge his duties according to the Terms of Reference.”

The review will define if The Star is suitable to continue holding a casino licence in Sydney. It will also examine the presence and detection of illegal and unwanted activities and individuals in the casino and the management and operation of The Star’s bank accounts.

Last week, Oliver White, Star Entertainment’s in-house lawyer was questioned about the legality of Star Entertainment accepting China UnionPay cards. White told the inquiry that he knew that China UnionPay cards could not be used for gambling purposes. However, he said he believed it was legal to use the hotel’s point of sale machines to swipe the cards. Once the funds were cleared, they were diverted to gaming.

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