Queensland refuses to extend Star inquiry to other casinos

The Queensland government won't expand its inquiry.
The Queensland government won't expand its inquiry.

Attorney-general Shannon Fentiman has noted that the inquiry is already broader than the Bell inquiry, which looked into the Star Entertainment in New South Wales.

Australia.- The state of Queensland won’t extend its current inquiry into The Star Entertainment Group to other casino operators. Attorney-general and minister for justice Shannon Fentiman has rejected calls from local media and the Alliance for Gambling Reform, noting that the current inquiry was already broader than the Bell inquiry into The Star Sydney.

According to The Canberra Times, Fentiman stated: “The terms of reference are very broad, I think we have two very experienced people leading this independent external review, it has all of the powers under the Casino Control Act, of a Commission of Inquiry … and they will leave no stone unturned.”

Queensland’s inquiry into the Star Entertainment Group’s Queensland casinos has heard that the company didn’t tell the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation it was changing its rules in 2016 to hide some AU$55m in gambling purchases made using China UnionPay cards, which the lender forbids.

It was also revealed that a patron who was banned from casinos in New South Wales and Victoria and who was allegedly linked to the Italian mafia was allowed to gamble at the venues. Howard Steiner, Star’s anti-money laundering general manager, told the inquiry the casinos didn’t ban him because he hadn’t been charged with any crime. However, Steiner noted that he would have been banned under current policies.

Star interim chief executive Geoff Hogg added that people with interstate bans should have been excluded earlier from all Star casinos, no matter the state. Star changed its policies in 2019 to recognise exclusion orders from interstate police commissioners. Since then, banning orders have been recognised nationally.

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GAMBLING REGULATION The Star Entertainment Group