Queensland deems the Star unsuitable to hold a casino licence

The Star Entertainment Group says it will fully cooperate with the OLGR.
The Star Entertainment Group says it will fully cooperate with the OLGR.

The state government has found The Star Entertainment Group unsuitable to hold casino licences for its Gold Coast and Brisbane properties.

Australia.- Queensland’s review of The Star Entertainment Group has found the casino operator to be unsuitable to continue holding a casino licence in the state. Robert Gotterson AO KC reached an open finding in his report but Queensland Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman says the operator is unfit to run its Queensland venues.

Some of the findings are similar to those of Adam Bell SC’s inquiry in New South Wales. Gotterson says the casino operator encouraged people excluded on the direction of police commissioners in New South Wales and Victoria to gamble at its Queensland casinos

The report stated: “The two Star casinos presently carrying on business in Queensland (Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane) have been operated in a way that is inconsistent with the achievement of the objectives of the Casino Control Act 1982 (Qld).”

The report adds: “This shows a poor corporate culture, a failure of those responsible for the AML/CTF Program to intervene, and a senior management that failed to have in place mechanisms to restrain the actions of a marketing team whose focus was on drawing in business.”

For her part, Fentiman said: “We have in black and white some damning findings about how this company has operated, how they dealt with the regulator and their obligations to act in the public interest clearly were not taken seriously.

“A finding of unsuitability does, of course, have implications for the casino licence for Queens Wharf but there is still a show cause process to go through, and then a range of options available to the government.”

Gotterson outlined recommendations for improvements to casino procedures, regulations and legislation:

  • The introduction of mandatory carded ‘play’ (ie requiring the use of an identity-linked gambling card) in Queensland casinos; 
  • the implementation of cashless gambling (save for gambling transactions of $1,000 or less);
  • the setting of gambling limits for Electronic Gambling Machines (EGMs). Such cards should be used to collect ‘play’ data that can be used to inform casino staffing levels and the proper supervision of casino activities. 

The Star Entertainment Group has issued a statement saying it is considering the report and will continue to cooperate with the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR).

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The Star Entertainment Group