Star Entertainment Faces a Fine for Wrongdoing at Queensland Casinos
Star Entertainment, facing challenges, has incurred a $140,000 fine due to multiple violations, which notably encompassed aiding patrons in the unauthorized use of credit cards for gambling purposes within its casinos situated in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The beleaguered operator admitted guilt on 11 counts during a court session held at the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
A total of seven charges were associated with specific sections outlined in Queensland’s casino legislation, which unequivocally prohibit the utilization of credit cards for the acquisition of gambling chips. The court underscored that a faction of patrons effectively secured chips on credit at both the Treasury Casino in Brisbane and the Star Gold Coast. These breaches were meticulously documented spanning the years 2017, 2018, and 2022. In a parallel vein, the remaining four charges pertained to the dissemination of promotional materials to individuals excluded from engagement. Star Entertainment, having proactively disclosed these transgressions, confronted the prospect of a fine surpassing the $1 million threshold.
Magistrate Shane Elliott acknowledged the influence of human error across all instances of misconduct, emphasizing the conspicuous absence of overarching systemic issues within the casinos or any orchestrated violations of the Queensland Casino Control Act. Complementing the financial penalty, Star was also instructed to defray costs totaling $3,250. Importantly, it should be highlighted that no official conviction was recorded. This recent financial sanction surfaces in the wake of a taxing phase for the operator.
In October 2022, the gaming regulatory authority in New South Wales (NSW) responded robustly by suspending Star’s Sydney license and imposing an extraordinary fine of $100 million. This substantial punitive measure was prompted by a comprehensive investigation that unearthed instances of money laundering transpiring within secluded segments of the casino, alongside an array of compliance oversights.
Comparable Assessment in Queensland
Following a similar assessment undertaken in Queensland last December, Star found itself met with an imposing fine of $100 million. This significant penalty was imposed based on the determination that the company was unsuitable to continue holding its two casino licenses in the state. The reasoning behind this was their disregard for anti-money laundering protocols and the responsibilities tied to ensuring responsible gaming practices.
Interestingly, shareholders have taken the initiative to launch a class-action lawsuit against the conglomerate, alleging that it failed to disclose links between money laundering and organized criminal undertakings.
A spokesperson from Star Entertainment underscored their unwavering dedication to upholding compliance directives. They emphasized, “We are wholeheartedly committed to bolstering our procedures and reinstating our suitability in both Queensland and NSW. Our aim is to restore the confidence of our regulators, government bodies, shareholders, staff, patrons, and the community.