Star Entertainment Group finally pleaded guilty to the breaches they had been accused of. There were seven different charges, and the company has been accused of allowing patrons to use credit cards in its casinos at Brisbane’s Treasury Casino and the Star Gold Coast.
The law violation:
Shannon Fentiman, Attorney-General at Queensland, commented on these accusations, saying that according to the Casino Control Act 1982, gambling chips can’t be bought with credit cards, and the company breached that law. All of the charges are related to Section 66, which strictly prohibits using credit cards to buy gambling chips.
She said: “The Queensland Government is committed to ensuring Queensland casinos are operated lawfully, ethically, and in a way that maintains the highest standards of integrity and public confidence.”
As the Queensland government announced, the breach lasted for more than two years: firstly, it took place between June 2017 and December 2018, and it repeated itself once again between March 2022 and April 2022.
The company will be sentenced on June 2nd, and the fine will be issued then.
Star Entertainment Group gets into the spotlight for its breaches and fines pretty often. The company got a warrant in December, and it had a choice: to pay a fine of $100 million or improve its business and get everything in order. The casinos stayed open but got an independent special manager, Nicholas Weeks, as a supervisor.
However, the casino spokesman didn’t want to comment on the news, saying they didn’t want to comment on anything before the trial.
It was found that the company covered up its China UnionPay transactions for gambling chips, recording them as hotel expenses. Robert Gotterson, SC, announced that discovery in October, so the events that took place after that aren’t such a surprise.
The highest penalty since new laws were established has been paid after Robert Gotterson announced the results of his review. There were many issues in the Queensland casinos, including accepting high rollers, which don’t have the right to gamble in other states, and some severe breaches regarding anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing programs the company had a duty to establish.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission also sued some of the Star’s former directors and executives. Matt Bekier, a former chief executive, and John O’Neill, former chairman, are accused of taking serious risks when it comes to money laundering and other criminal activities in the casinos.
Many other executives and directors weren’t so careful regarding their duties and the state’s laws. In the period from 2017 to 2019, many responsibilities weren’t fulfilled. After all of these accusations, the company expects a record fine of $1.05 million for each individual breach.
The company’s shares drastically fell: they are worth 2.4 percent less than before these breaches.