In Australia, the official Queensland inquiry looking into the suitability of The Star Entertainment Group Limited has reportedly found the local casino operator unfit to hold a state-issued gambling license.
According to a Thursday report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Queensland Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation-backed probe was headed by former Appeals Court judge Robert Gotterson with its ruling being broadly consistent with the September verdict from an analogous New South Wales exercise. The decision purportedly means that the firm could soon be prohibited from offering gambling to patrons inside its pair of local venues, which encompass the Treasury Brisbane and even larger The Star Gold Coast properties.
The Attorney-General for Queensland, Shannon Fentiman, reportedly declared that the probe had highlighted ‘major failings’ in the way The Star Entertainment Group Limited conducted its business that had adversely impacted the company’s overall honesty, character and integrity. The Labor politician purportedly also explained that the firm now has 21 days to submit a ‘cause notice’ on why it should be permitted to run casinos in the northern state, although it had not contested the earlier New South Wales verdict.
Fentiman reportedly told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the government of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk now has the ability to take a plethora of actions against The Star Entertainment Group Limited that ‘range from directions, to censures, to fines, to potentially suspension or cancellation of a casino licence’. The experienced figure purportedly furthermore pronounced that this final option could well be followed by the jurisdiction looking ‘at someone else to hold that licence’.
Reportedly read a statement from Fentiman…
“Gotterson found The Star Entertainment Group Limited was not forthcoming or transparent in its dealings with its banker or the regulator and that its actions were indicative of a one-eyed focus on profit. The recommendations from Gotterson would very sensibly allow us to put in place a special manager as that’s what we’ve seen in Victoria.”
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the state-backed inquiry determined that The Star Entertainment Group Limited had ‘actively encouraged’ high-risk gamblers to travel to its casinos in Queensland even though they had exhibited ‘red flag’ behaviors and were barred from analogous facilities in other states. The probe purportedly moreover found that the Brisbane-headquartered company had violated local anti-money laundering laws by allowing its Chinese patrons to utilize their UnionPay debit cards to illicitly process transactions worth approximately $35 million.
The statement from Fentiman reportedly read…
“The Star Entertainment Group Limited made a concerted effort to obscure the purpose of these transactions and deliberately mislead the regulator and its own banker.”
The ruling from the Gotterson-led probe reportedly also contained twelve recommendations that include establishing regular investigations into the suitability of all Queensland casinos, which would be paid for by the licensees themselves. These proposals purportedly moreover run to a call for the launch of mandatory carded play and cashless gaming as well as the initiation of limits on cash transactions.
Fentiman’s statement reportedly read…
“The recommendations will ensure that Queensland casinos operate lawfully and transparently as we all expect them to do so.”
For its part and Sydney-listed The Star Entertainment Group Limited, which recently accepted the abrupt resignation of its Acting Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Hogg, reportedly used an official filing to assert that it was ‘considering the report and the matters raised by Gotterson’ but remains committed to continuing ‘to work cooperatively with the Queensland Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation’.