Australia’s Star Entertainment has been given a $100 million fine and a year to fix problems related to its management and operations in Queensland, or risk losing its license.
The company said it has received a written notice from the Queensland Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman and the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation informing it of the disciplinary action.
The Star operates the Star Gold Coast and The Treasury in Brisbane, where it is also developing a third project with a consortium of investors. The group has already been hit by a $100 million fine from regulators in New South Wales, where it operates the Star Sydney.
In Queensland, Star said that it was told to pay $30 million in March next year, $30 million in June and $40 million in December.
Its licenses will also be suspended for 90 days from Dec. 1st next year unless it makes satisfactory progress in remedying the issues that were identified. The regulator also announced the appointment of Nicholas Weeks as a special manager for each of the casinos in the state. He was also appointed in a similar capacity to oversee remediation measures in New South Wales.
NSW welcomes special manager for Star
New South Wales Independent Casino Commission Chief Commissioner Philip Crawford said the appointment was sensible and will underscore regulatory cooperation between states.
“Queensland casinos must operate with integrity – and it is clear that there have been major failings by the Star group and its entities,” Fentiman said in a statement. “Like many Queenslanders, I was appalled at the extent of the actions of The Star in welcoming excluded persons to their casinos and the exorbitant incentives on offer for questionable gamblers.”
Australia’s casino sector has faced a barrage of regulatory inquiries following an investigative news report in 2019 that uncovered money laundering and other serious offenses, mainly related to their China VIP businesses.
The operators are now facing punitive actions over the findings that have come to light.
Earlier this week, Australia’s financial regulator AUSTRAC said it was launching civil proceedings against New Zealand’s SkyCity Entertainment over AML failings at its Adelaide casino.
The regulator late last month also said it had filed a civil suit against rival operator Star Entertainment Group.