Star Entertainment has finally plead guilty to 7 different charges of regulatory violations. The operators of two of Queensland’s largest casinos have been accused of authorising numerous credit card payments for gambling chips, an action that is illegal under the Casino Control act of 1982.
Section 66 of this act prohibits specifically, the purchase of gambling chips with a credit card. Attorney General Sharon Fentiman stated;
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
The Queensland Government announce that these consequential breaches lasted for over two years, with the first instance taking place between June 2017 and December 2018, then repeated once again between March and April of 2022.
This admission of guilt is subsequent to numerous other legal violations instigated by the casino group, receiving a warrant in December offering them a choice of disciplinary action of either a fine of $100 million or to improve its business practices. Remaining open Star Entertainment hired an independent manager, Nicholas Weeks as a supervisor.
This slew of prior breeches were no small matters either, including a cover up China UnionPay transaction, being recorded as hotel expenses, the acceptation of so called “high-rollers” who were not legal to gamble in other states, and some severely tumultuous accusations of violations according to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing programs.
Many of Star Entertainment’s executives are also being targeted by law enforcement for serious negligence with regards to risk mitigation and aversion. With the company’s management accused of failing to fulfil their responsibilities in the prevention of money laundering and other related criminal activities.
A disastrous set of events for the company to say the least, coming at a time where Australia’s Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) have only as of late launched a new unit to provide key focus on anti-money laundering enforcement. An issue that will most probably have even worse consequences if not now most certainly into the future.