The Star inquiry: failures in welfare checks and faulty machines

The Star inquiry: failures in welfare checks and faulty machines

The operator’s special manager says the Sydney casino allowed customers to withdraw funds they hadn’t won.

Australia.- Nicholas Weeks has told the second inquiry into the Star Entertainment Group‘s suitability to hold a gaming licence in Sydney that the operator falsified welfare checks on players. Weeks was appointed special manager of the casino by the NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) in October 2022 when the regulator suspended the company’s licence.

Weeks told the inquiry’s first hearing that Liquor and Gaming NSW officers found that Star Sydney failed to complete welfare checks on customers who played on machines for more than three hours. He said customer support officers falsified the compliance log to indicate that the check had been completed. It was found that this was a common occurrence in Sydney, which led to an investigation into Star’s Brisbane and Gold Coast locations named “Operation Falskur”.

Weeks was worried that the breaches were only discovered by Liquor and Gaming inspectors and not by staff within the company.

Weeks also spoke of players being able to withdraw a combined AU$3.2m they hadn’t won from a malfunctioning “ticket in, cash out” over a six-week period. He also claimed that he believed Star’s chair had wanted to oust him from the company and that the company had gained access to his emails and calendar without his consent. 

Over the next three weeks, several senior and former executives will testify to the hearing. Bell will ultimately decide whether the group is suitable to hold a casino licence in New South Wales.

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The Star Entertainment Group