Star Entertainment Faced Only AU$199,800 in Fines Imposed by the NSW Gambling Regulatory Body, Evidence Reveals

Daniel Williams

It turns out that the gambling regulatory body of the state of New South Wales (NSW) has imposed sanctions on The Star Entertainment for offences linked to gambling only on a few occasions. During the damning evidence alleging that The Star Sydney enabled money laundering, had links to Chinese criminal organisations and misled the state’s gambling watchdog, it also became clear that the fines issued by the NSW gambling regulator total AU$200,000.

The monetary penalties faced by the Australian gambling giant were mostly focused on the company breaching some laws suspending underage individuals from entering its casino venue, as well as on lack of compliance with the state’s alcohol laws.

The latest revelations in the ongoing probe into The Star Entertainment have fuelled further criticism that gaming regulatory bodies in Australia have been turning a blind eye on the large players in the sector after separate investigations into Crown Resorts’ operations in Victoria, Western Australia and the New South Wales found that local regulators actually enabled certain aspects of the legislation breach and wrongdoings of the company that has long been associated with the Australian billionaire investor James Packer.

According to The Australian Financial Review (The AFR), only 3 of the 17 disciplinary actions taken by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) in the 6 years since 2016 were associated with the casino licence of the gambling company. Only 1 of the 3 disciplinary actions resulted in a monetary fine, while the other two were dealt with so-called letters of censure.

Gambling Watchdogs in Australia Criticised for Adopting a More Relaxed Approach to Local Gambling Giants

Since 2016, Star Entertainment has faced fines worth AU$199,800 in total, with the largest part of that amount consisting of an AU$90,000 fine that was imposed on the casino operator in 2020 for allowing three underage individuals to enter the casino.

Ten of the aforementioned seventeen actions of the NSW gambling regulator involved minors entering the casino, while 4 were linked to violations of local alcohol service laws.

As mentioned above, the relaxed approach adopted by gambling watchdogs in the country has faced a lot of criticism, especially after media reports that uncovered the widespread misconduct of Crown Resorts and The Star Entertainment, and subsequent investigations of appointed Royal Commissions in the operations of the two gambling giants.

As Casino Guardian reported earlier, all 3 state investigations into Crown Resorts recommended reorganisation and overhaul of the existing casino regulators in order to grant more powers to gambling regulators. The ILGA in the state of NSW is set to be stripped of its casino area of action following the Bergin inquiry and its calls for the establishment of a new gambling regulatory body specialising in money laundering and featuring the powers of a Royal Commission. As revealed by an ILGA spokesperson for the AFR, the process of establishing a new, tougher watchdog has already begun.

The new gambling regulatory body is set to enhance the management of already existing risks in the market, especially when it comes to casino operations involving various financial crimes, including money laundering. The ILGA spokesperson also acknowledged that a harder line of regulation was necessary, although casino regulation in the state had been based on a self-reporting regime.

Olivia Cole

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.

Daniel Williams

Author: Dale Alvarez