Star Entertainment on The Spotlight Over Violations


Star Entertainment, a major gaming and hotel company, has come under fire for several transgressions. Recent allegations indicate that it may have violated criminal, business, and gaming laws.

By putting up its controversial China UnionPay program, Star Entertainment has been accused of infringing both gambling and criminal legislation in NSW, as well as the Corporations Act by allegedly failing to satisfy its ongoing disclosure duties.

According to the findings of the investigation into Star that was conducted in New South Wales, the company broke the law “every time” it swiped China UnionPay cards in the hotel lobby and then sent money to the casino before the players’ payments were finished being processed. This may constitute up to 2,000 breaches of the Casino Control Act.

It has also been suggested that to achieve a financial advantage by sending “a number of false and even dishonest emails” to NAB, Star’s management may have violated the NSW Crimes Act.

Prior to this investigation, the inquiry was informed that a $2 billion Chinese-born high-roller at Star Sydney had raised money-laundering suspicions. According to evidence from Star employees, the Bank of China in Macau was also provided with bogus source-of-funds documentation.

Also, Star’s legal staff members were present. They sat through the discussion regarding its use of legal professional privilege and described several Star legal procedures as unethical.

What Next?

The probe has already led to the suspension of both domestic and foreign rebate play programs, as well as the resignation of several directors and senior executives. It’s possible, though, that things may get worse.

It is highly likely that the Star will lose its Sydney casino license after this week’s hearings, but like Crown Resorts, the NSW watchdog may give it a chance to redeem itself before closing its doors.

Over the last year, Crown Resorts has also been the subject of three state investigations, which gives a pattern for how this may look. This may involve a temporary license, the supervision of an external monitor, and rigorous standards for governance structures, staff changes, and remediation programs.

The failure of AUSTRAC and state casino watchdogs to work together to prevent money laundering is a common element in all four casino investigations. For the market to have trust that casinos cannot be readily infiltrated by organized crime and used to launder dirty money, one of the country’s main investors believes that a nationally uniform structure is urgently required.

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