Queensland’s Ville Resort Casino charged over unapproved junket agreement

Last week, Casinos Austria International was fined AU$10,000 for using junket services without authorisation.
Last week, Casinos Austria International was fined AU$10,000 for using junket services without authorisation.

Ville Casino in Townsville has been accused of using an unapproved junket operator to attract gamblers to its tables.

Australia.- The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation says it has found that Ville Resort Casino in Townsville breached Queensland’s casino regulations by operating with an unapproved junket operator.

Queensland casino law requires the approval of junkets agreements. The gambling regulator began investigating Ville Resort Casino in February following media reports. It’s now charged the casino, owned by businessman Chris Morris, with breaching two sections of the Casino Control Act.

The casino had been the subject of a report on Channel Nine programme 60 Minutes, which claimed the casino operator had paid “cash and loyalty points” to unapproved operators to attract high rollers. At the time, Ville Resort Casino said the report contained factual inaccuracies and that it had operated legally.

Last week, Cairns Magistrates Court fined Casinos Austria International (Cairns) Pty Ltd AU$10,000 for using junket services without authorisation. The operator had paid the junket tour operator Lawrence Fu AU$21,400 in betting vouchers to bring gamblers to Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns.

Fu brought groups of 22 to 34 people to the casino on five occasions between December 2020 and May 2021. Due to the lack of written approval from the state gaming minister, the agreement violated the Casino Control Act.

The prosecutor for the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation had requested a fine of between AU$10,000 and AU$15,000, while the casino’s defence requested no more than AU$10,000. Magistrate Gelma Meoli said Casinos Austria International admitted their guilt at the earliest opportunity and had fully cooperated with authorities.

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