The Queensland Government announced today they found The Star Entertainment Group to be “unsuitable” to hold a casino licence.
The Star will now be given an opportunity to respond to the report and the Government’s finding.
What was found?
The report found The Star had a “poor corporate culture” at its Queensland casinos, where there was a “one-eyed focus on profits and money”.
It also found The Star mischaracterised transactions on state-owned Chinese debit cards.
The Star also allegedly encouraged people restricted at casinos in NSW and Victoria to gamble at its Queensland venues, as well as those suspected to have been involved in criminal activity.
The report made 12 recommendations, which the Queensland Government said it supported in principle.
This included making identity-linked gambling cards mandatory in Queensland, implementing cashless gambling for transactions above $1,000, and ensuring casinos take “reasonable steps” to restrict people who have been blocked in other states.
Queensland Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said today the report highlights “major failings and makes very serious findings which adversely affect The Star’s repute, their character, their integrity, and their honesty”.
The Government has said they will raise the maximum penalty that can be imposed on a casino to $100 million.
Past casino reviews
A report into The Star’s casino operations in NSW was published last month, which also found it unsuitable to hold a licence.
Findings from the Victorian Government’s Royal Commission into Crown Melbourne were handed down in October last year, which deemed that operator also unsuitable to hold a casino licence.
Star in Queensland
The Star currently operates two venues in Queensland – in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
However, The Star was also expected to open a new casino next year as part of the multi-billion-dollar Queen’s Wharf development in the Brisbane CBD. These findings could complicate that.
The Star will now be given the opportunity to respond to the review and the finding of unsuitability.
Following this process, the Government will be able to take action on The Star, which could include fines, or the suspension or cancellation of their casino licence in Queensland.
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