In Australia and local casino operator The Star Entertainment Group Limited is reportedly set to be investigated by officials in Queensland over allegations that it may have been complicit in multiple instances of money laundering and fraud.
According to a Monday report from the Reuters news service published by US News and World Report, the Brisbane-headquartered firm is already the subject of an analogous examination in New South Wales that could soon see it stripped of its ability to offer gambling within the 351-room The Star Sydney property. This probe was purportedly launched in March following the conclusion of a similar inspection of rival Crown Resorts Limited that eventually resulted in this firm losing the casino license for its new Crown Sydney facility.
The New South Wales exploration of The Star Entertainment Group Limited is being led by prominent local attorney Adam Bell and has reportedly heard testimony about how the Sydney-listed operator flouted rules on the use of Chinese debit cards to process at least $647 million in illicit transactions. To make matters worse and the firm is purportedly moreover alleged to have lied to banks about these dealings, failed to properly engage with local regulators and misrepresented its relationship with Asian junket giant Suncity Group.
In Queensland and The Star Entertainment Group Limited is responsible for The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane properties and is hoping to premiere that state’s $2.5 billion Queens Wharf Brisbane development by the summer of next year. However, the news service reported that this plan could be scuppered should officials deem the company unfit to hold a local casino license.
Shannon Fentiman serves as the Attorney General for Queensland and she reportedly told the news service that previously-disclosed investigations by the northern state’s police and casino regulators into The Star Entertainment Group Limited were continuing. Nevertheless, the Labor Party politician purportedly also proclaimed that there is to now ‘be an independent expert review into the suitability’ of the firm ‘to keep its casino licence’ with the scope of this exercise to be published at a later date.
Reuters reported that roughly half of The Star Entertainment Group Limited’s annual profits are derived from its operations in Queensland with the remainder coming from its 14-story The Star Sydney development. News that the government of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is to launch an official investigation into the company’s dealings purportedly sent the individual price of its shares down by some 8% overnight to approximately $1.77 against a 3.8% decline on the broader market.