The investigation into whether Star Entertainment is suitable to hold its casino operating licence in Queensland is set to start later this month.
As officially revealed, the inquiry is to be headed by the Honourable Robert Gotterson, a former judge, and will eventually report its findings to the Attorney General by September 30th. The probe is set to focus on 5 key areas and will determine whether the company is suitable to run its casino venues in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.
It was unveiled that the inquiry will have the power to question the gambling operator’s employees or other relevant people directly. Furthermore, the investigators will have the right to hold public hearings and take submissions during the process.
The Queensland Government announced there have been significant concerns regarding the operations of The Star Sydney based on the evidence presented during some public hearings. Therefore, the investigation will look into whether the gambling company was sufficiently committed to counter-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering rules, as well as to its systems for due diligence and know-your-customer (KYC) operations.
The management of Star Entertainment’s international customers, including their bank accounts, credits and money transfers will be reviewed during the probe, along with the way the operator managed its VIP customers, banned casino patrons management and gambling-related harm minimization efforts.
A number of major purposes of the Queensland inquiry into Star Entertainment have been unveiled. The probe will have to determine:
Whether the operations of Star Entertainment in Queensland are in line with the law;Whether the gambling giant is suitable to hold the operating permits for its Gold Coast and Brisbane properties;Whether the public confidence in casino operations could be restored somehow
Queensland’s Attorney General Has to Be Presented by Investigation Findings by September 30th
For the time being, Star Entertainment operates a number of properties across the country – the Star Sydney in the state of New South Wales (NSW), the Star Gold Coast and the Treasury Brisbane in Queensland. Another Brisbane-based casino of the brand in the redeveloped Queens Wharf is scheduled for an opening in 2023.
As Casino Guardian reported, an investigation into the Australian gambling giant’s operations has already started in NSW. The probe there is expected to determine whether the company is suitable to hold its operating permit for Star Sydney on August 31st.
In May, the Government of Annastacia Palaszczuk decided to take some measures and launch an independent review of the Queensland operations of Star Entertainment after the NSW investigation revealed some evidence that the gambling operator had allegedly violated the law. The probe in New South Wales examined a bunch of allegations, including allowing organised crime penetration, enabling suspected fraud, money laundering and foreign interference at Star Sydney. There was also evidence that the junket partner of the company – Suncity – ran an illegal cage within the Sydney casino property of the brand.
As mentioned above, Honourable Robert Gotterson who will lead the Queensland inquiry into Star Entertainment will be given the powers of a Royal Commissioner, so he will be able to summon evidence, hold public hearings and cross-examine witnesses in the investigation process. He will also be given the power to draw on evidence from the probe into Star Sydney. In his work, he will be assisted by Jonathan Horton QC.
The results of the investigation into Star Entertainment’s operations in Queensland will have to be presented to Attorney-General Shannon Fentlman by the end of September, less than a month after the due date of the NSW report.
Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.