NSW regulator fines Star $100m, suspends Sydney casino license

Content Team 1 year ago
NSW regulator fines Star $100m, suspends Sydney casino license

The New South Wales regulator has handed Star Entertainment Group a $100 million penalty over shortcomings uncovered in a recent inquiry and suspended the group’s Sydney casino license indefinitely.

The regulator said it has appointed Nicholas Weeks to manage the group’s flagship casino from Friday, Oct 21st for a period of 90 days, which may be extended. As a result the casino will remain open and most staff will be unaffected by the disciplinary action.

The timetable for payment of the fine still needs to be agreed with the regulator.

The so-called Bell Inquiry into Star Entertainment’s NSW operations uncovered a litany of corporate governance failings, including flouting anti-money laundering regulations. The report found the operator unsuitable to hold a license for its flagship Sydney property. 

According to a Monday statement from the regulator, Weeks will take over full control and responsibility for the Sydney casino business. However, he will work closely with the Star to ensure the operations continue to be a going concern.

Star remediation plan to continue

The regulator will remit the net earnings to the Star Group after the special manager’s remuneration has been deducted. Star will continue to carry out its agreed remediation plan to resolve issues brought up in the Bell report under the supervision of the manager 

The suspension period will provide time for Star to demonstrate to the regulator that it has regained suitability for the license.

Earlier this month, regulators in the Australian state of Queensland also found Star unsuitable to hold its license for its properties in the state.

Australia’s casinos were thrown into the regulatory spotlight following an investigative news report by local media in 2019. The report highlighted disarray in Crown Resorts’ governance practices that had allowed money to be laundered through its Sydney casinos. 

The inquiries subsequently spread to Star, which was accused of a similar set of problems. 

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