Star Entertainment Group, one of the biggest operators of land-based casinos in Australia, has received terrible news from the Independent Casino Commission of New South Wales as a report received by the government body found the operator unfit to hold a casino license in Sydney.
The conclusion comes after an inquiry into the company’s activity after concerns were raised about the operator’s dealings with junkets and failings regarding money laundering prevention measures.
The investigation launched in September 2021 and it was led by Adam Bell SC. One year later, the investigation concluded with a report which states that The Star Sydney is culpable of several anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings stretching back years.
The report adds that the failings were the result of “ineffective risk management and governance”, along with a “dysfunctional” culture in relation to ethical conduct, mainly by prioritizing business goals over compliance objectives.
One of the main accusations regards the operator’s successful attempts to bypass Chinese capital flight laws by reclassifying gambling spend as hotel expenses on China Union Pay cards. Moreover, the company lied to banking institutions regarding these payments, allowed an entity with presumed links to organized crime to conduct operations inside The Star Sydney and also lied to the state regulator, the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.