NSW Regulator Receives Long-Awaited Review into The Star Operations

Daniel Williams

After The Star casino in Sydney was under a scrutinous review for several months, the NSW gaming agency was handed a report into the practices of the company. The review in question was governed by Adam Bell, SC, with the company’s eligibility to keep its licence being the main topic of discussion.

On Thursday, the state’s regulatory body made a statement about the long-awaited review finally being handed to the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority. Meanwhile, it still has not been clarified when the review will be available to the public.

Observations of The Star’s questionable practices will fall under the remit of Wexted Advisors, said the state’s gaming agency.

The Star Deemed Unfit to Hold Casino Licence due to Serious Failures in Company’s Operation

The review, which was handed to the state’s gaming regulator on Thursday, was conducted after 46 days of public hearings, questioning The Star’s casino operations. According to lawyers who were participating in the inquiry, the company was not fit to hold a casino licence.

The Sydney casino was accused of a series of shady practices, including the questionable use of Chinese debit cards as well as the casino’s links to Suncity, which is a notorious junket operator based in Macau. Other accusations include the casino’s operation of an illegal private high-roller room known as Salon 95 and the deliberate misleading of banking institutions.

The fitness of The Star Sydney to keep its casino licence will be decided with the help of Wexted Advisors, who were assigned to monitor the company’s operations on behalf of the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.

Last week, The Star had the value of its Pyrmont casino slashed, marking a $198.6 million loss for 2022. The reason for the huge losses was the questionable practices of the company and the uncertainty about its future operations. Following the damning review of the NSW gaming agency, The Star was also forced to wipe out its Pyrmont high-roller junket program, which led to the gaming complex in Pyrmont losing $162.5 million of its value.

Even as the company was preparing itself for the public hearings in Queensland, it was yet again involved in a scandal. Just recently, it was reported that the Hong Kong conglomerate Chow Tai Fook had links to several criminal gangs. The scandal was traced back to The Star as Chow Tai Fook is a partial owner of apartment towers in Brisbane, which are a part of The Star’s development project at Queen’s Wharf.

Star Entertainment Argues It Is Fit to Hold Its Casino Licence

Despite the accusations against The Star and its fitness to keep its casino licence in Sydney, the company’s legal team ensured that the entity was suitable for a licence as it has made rearrangements in its senior management.

While the review was ongoing, a few of the people in charge of The Star’s management resigned. Chief executive Matt Bekier, chief legal and risk officer Paula Martin, chief financial officer Harry Theodore, and chief casino officer Greg Hawkins were also among those who stepped down from their positions.

The inquiry into The Star’s operation also prompted the law firm, Slater and Gordon, to take a shareholder class action against the gambling company. The NSW review also was the reason for similar inquiries into the company’s casinos based in Queensland.

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.

Daniel Williams

Author: Dale Alvarez