Star found unfit to run casinos in Queensland

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Star Entertainment has been found unfit to hold a casino licence in Queensland and will be issued with a notice to explain why it should continue to operate in the state.

Former judge Robert Gotterson’s report into the ASX-listed casino operator was released on Thursday after a public probe into Star’s conduct in Queensland.

Mr Gotterson found the company guilty of a serious dereliction of its anti-money laundering responsibilities, deliberately misled the regulator and had poor corporate culture with a “one-eyed focus” on profit at the expense of patrons.

However, he left his finding open on whether the company was fit to hold a licence in Queensland although he said Star’s two casinos were operated in a way that was inconsistent with casino laws.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said after considering Mr Gotterson’s report she had decided Star was not fit to operate casinos in the state.

She said the company would be issued with a show-cause notice and given 21 days to respond or face penalties, including having its licences revoked.

“I have formed the view that the star is unsuitable to hold a casino licence in Queensland,” Ms Fentiman told reporters.

“And I have asked the Office of Liquor and Gaming to begin preparing show-cause materials to issue the Star with a show-cause notice.”

Mr Gotterson has made 12 recommendations to tighten controls in the state’s casino industry, including for venues to go cashless with patrons to use cards linked to their identification and set with loss limits before they start gambling.

Last month, the NSW gaming regulator found Star had repeatedly breached the law, misled banks and allowed criminals to operate with impunity and gamble almost without restraint.

The Queensland inquiry, ordered after revelations emerged in the NSW probe, heard serious allegations about Star’s conduct in the northern state.

Former acting chief executive Geoff Hogg admitted Star wasn’t fully up-front with the Queensland regulator when it changed a policy in order to conceal $55 million in banned transactions from a Chinese bank.

The company also allowed people banned from its interstate casinos by police over their alleged links with criminal gangs to gamble in its Queensland premises.

It allegedly “pursued” some of them by giving them free private jet flights, luxury accommodation, and gifts including a $50,000 Rolex watch, the inquiry heard.

– AAP

The post Star found unfit to run casinos in Queensland appeared first on The New Daily.

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