In Australia and The Star Entertainment Group Limited has reportedly followed rival casino operator Crown Resorts Limited in agreeing to stop the use of junket firms in order to attract high-value foreign players to its New South Wales property.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the move from the Brisbane-headquartered company comes a little over four months after Crown Resorts Limited was refused a gaming license for its new Crown Sydney development owing to concerns that it may have been complicit in a slew of money laundering offenses tied to its own utilization of such junkets. The source detailed that this licensing decision from the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority could be revisited before the end of the year so long as the operator has implemented a number of recommendations earlier laid out by an independent investigation chaired by former New South Wales Supreme Court Judge Patricia Bergin.
The Star Entertainment Group is responsible for Queensland’s The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane venues as well as The Star Sydney enterprise in New South Wales and reportedly floated a proposition on Monday that would see it merge with Crown Resorts Limited in order to give it immediate control over six properties spread across four states. The Sydney-listed firm is purportedly moreover in the process of spending roughly $2.3 billion so as to bring a casino to the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane development being built on a 23-acre plot of riverside land near the center of Australia’s third largest city.
The revelation that the two casino operators for the country’s most populous state are eschewing junkets was reportedly announced by the Chairman for the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, Philip Crawford, during a press conference to discuss regulatory progress with Crown Resorts Limited. The move purportedly means that New South Wales has followed Western Australia in having a complete ban on such enterprises, which promote overseas casinos to wealthy gamblers while often simultaneously handling these individuals’ travel, accommodation and foreign banking or credit needs.
When asked how such a prohibition may impact the future profitability of Crown Resorts Limited’s $1.5 billion Crown Sydney property, Crawford reportedly proclaimed that this is ‘a business plan issue that is not my purview’. However, he did purportedly confirm that the operator had ‘scrapped its VIP program completely’ and is now looking at ways to thrive without becoming overly reliant on ‘international guests’.
Crawford reportedly stated…
“Its restaurants and bars are open and people tell me they’re booming but they’ve got their own business model and they’re doing their own numbers and they’ll have to assess that as they are going forward. My understanding is that the VIP program Crown Resorts Limited had is gone.”