In the Australian state of New South Wales and the inquiry investigating the license suitability of prominent casino operator The Star Entertainment Group Limited has reportedly concluded that the firm should be stripped of its local certification.
According to a report from Sky News, the prospect of this worrying verdict prompted the casino firm to temporarily suspend trading of its shares on the Sydney bourse from yesterday. The Brisbane-headquartered company has now subsequently pronounced that it intends to consider the contents of the three volumes of findings before taking a decision on when such transactions may again be permitted.
Launched in March and being led by prominent attorney Adam Bell, the state-sanctioned investigation of The Star Entertainment Group Limited reportedly found ‘confronting’ evidence that the operator had flouted rules on the use of Chinese debit cards within its The Star Sydney property to process illicit transactions worth millions of dollars. The New South Wales Independent Casino Commission-backed examination purportedly determined that the firm had moreover lied to its banks about such dealings and failed to properly engage with local regulators.
The Star Entertainment Group Limited, which furthermore runs the gambling-friendly Treasury Brisbane and The Star Gold Coast venues in its home state of Queensland, reportedly admitted that it was unsuitable to hold a casino licence when the inquiry commenced. However, the Australian company purportedly later went on to provide eight official submissions showcasing how it had changed and was now fit to run The Star Sydney venue in the Sydney neighborhood of Pyrmont.
Philip Crawford (pictured) serves as the Chair for the recently-established New South Wales Independent Casino Commission and he reportedly proclaimed that these proclamations were ultimately discounted by the Bell-led examination to leave The Star Entertainment Group Limited ‘unsuitable’ to hold a local casino license. The regulator purportedly went on to declare that the operator will now be required to reply to an official ‘cause notice’ under the provisions of the Casino Control Act that could eventually result in the permanent closure of the gambling amenities within The Star Sydney.
Reportedly read a statement from Crawford…
“In effect, it asks The Star Entertainment Group Limited to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against it. The Star Entertainment Group Limited has 14 days to respond to the show cause notice should it wish to.”
Sky News reported that a similar penalty befell Australian casino firm Crown Resorts Limited last year although this company has since been given permission to bring gambling to its 432-room Crown Sydney venue under the terms of a special two-year agreement. This Sydney-headquartered operator now owned by American private equity management giant The Blackstone Group Incorporated was purportedly obliged to restructure its board, submit to increased regulatory scrutiny and implement a range of enhanced anti-money laundering measures.
Crawford reportedly asserted that the official investigation had not arrived at any ‘adverse findings’ concerning The Star Entertainment Group Limited’s board of directors and concluded that this body had been ‘kept in the dark’ regarding the actions of senior executives and management. He purportedly furthermore affirmed that doing nothing is now ‘not an option’ as the company features a culture that ‘is permeated by bad conduct’.
The statement from Crawford reportedly read…
“A repeating theme throughout the report seemed to be asking not whether something they were looking at doing was appropriate but how they could do it. They tended to ignore the risks inherent in a lot of their conduct and then they tried to hide that conduct. Financial goals seem to have been the main driver of their conduct and they took deliberate actions to mislead and deceive their own bank, their own board of directors and the regulator.”