In Australia and the casino regulator for the state of New South Wales has reportedly appointed prominent local lawyer Adam Bell to lead the body that will conduct an upcoming regulatory review into the 351-room The Star Sydney property.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the naming of the equity, commercial and administrative law specialist comes after he served as a senior counsel assisting last year’s official enquiry into the casino license suitability of Crown Resorts Limited. The source detailed that this examination led by former New South Wales Supreme Court Judge Patricia Bergin determined that the operator was not fit to offer gambling within its new Crown Sydney venue owing to the potential that the firm may have been complicit in a slew of money laundering offenses tied to its past use of foreign junket firms.
This controversial decision reportedly forced Crown Resorts Limited to open the 432-room Crown Sydney facility in December without its envisioned casino although the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority is known to be open to reversing its stand pending the completion of a number of recommended reforms. Located in the harborside Barangaroo district of Sydney, the $1.6 billion development could now purportedly obtain a New South Wales gambling license as early as later this year although the state is simultaneously eager to establish an independent gaming regulator that will be tasked with helping to avoid any further suspected instances of money laundering.
For its part and The Star Sydney is operated by Brisbane-headquartered The Star Entertainment Group Limited and has permission to run up to 1,500 electronic gaming machines until the middle of 2041. Currently the only large-scale casino in New South Wales, the 351-room property is reportedly supposed to have its license reviewed every five years but last underwent such an assessment in September of 2016.
Philip Crawford serves as the Chairman for the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and he reportedly declared that these license reviews ‘are carried out with the co-operation of the casino operator’ in order to confirm that gambling premises in the state of some 8.2 million people are ‘free from criminal influence or exploitation’ and are not harming ‘the public interest.’
Reportedly read a statement from Crawford…
“Mr Bell was the lead senior counsel assisting the Bergin inquiry into Crown Resorts Limited’s Barangaroo casino and, as such, has extensive knowledge of casino regulatory matters in New South Wales including the issues of concern identified in the Bergin report. This experience provides Mr Bell with a deep understanding of the current casino landscape, which will be invaluable for this role.”