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Star Entertainment Group unfit to operate in Sydney

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The Star Entertainment Group was found “unfit” to hold the license and operate a casino in Sydney following an independent review conducted by the Casino Commission of New South Wales on behalf of the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA).

Having received a show cause notice, The Star Entertainment Group is now considering how to respond in the stipulated time of two weeks, a regulatory filing submitted to the Australian Stock Exchange shows.

The Star Entertainment Group Limited notes that the final report in connection with the review of The Star Sydney undertaken by Mr Adam Bell SC in accordance with the Casino Control Act 1992 (NSW) has today been made public by the New South Wales Independent Casino Commission (NICC), the filing statement read.

The review report and aligned investigations were conducted by Adam Bell SC, who was at the helm of the inquiry and investigations of the Star Entertainment Group in the financial years 2021 and 2022.

It was found in the investigations that the company behind The Star Entertainment Group had allowed money laundering and organized crime to occur through the casino operations, several media reports read.

“We’ve been considering what went wrong, and Bell considered what went wrong, and it’s a very hard and complex question to answer,” Philip Crawford was quoted saying at a press conference on Tuesday.

“It’s not a question of pin the tail on the donkey – there’s no one individual who was masterminding the conduct and attitude of The Star casino in operating its casino license. The company too often – and this a repeating theme throughout the report – seemed to be asking not whether something they were looking at doing was appropriate but how they could do it. Not whether it was the right thing to do but how could they find a way to do it,” Crawford added.

The report was given to the newly formed NSW Independent Casino Commission, headed up by Philip Crawford, who is also a board member of the ILGA.

The investigations and public hearings into the matter were conducted in the months of March and June in 2022.

“The institutional arrogance of this company has been breath-taking and the regulator’s major concern with regard to The Star remains is its culture, which seems cannot be fixed so easily and in short term, because The Star management treated the regulatory authority with disdain, as an impediment to be worked around,” several media reports read.

The Star has been given two weeks to respond to a “show cause” notice which asks the company to demonstrate why it should not have disciplinary action taken against it.

The show-cause notice displays possibilities of disciplinary actions against the company, which include cancellation or suspension of the casino license, fines up to A$100 million, and amendments in the terms and conditions of the license.

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