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HomeNewsAustraliaThe Star: public hearings in Bell Two Inquiry have commenced

The Star: public hearings in Bell Two Inquiry have commenced

Beleaguered Australian gaming operator The Star announced on Monday that the public hearings as part of the second Bell Inquiry into its Sydney casino operations were ‘scheduled to commence today’.

The probe comes two years after a similar probe found serious shortcomings in the group’s anti-money laundering policies, concerns over criminal affiliation and fraud at its Sydney casino.

The first probe resulted in the group being stripped of its casino operating license, a AU$100 million ($65 million) fine and a special manager being put in place to run the casino until it was deemed compliant.

The second probe aims to examine the response of The Star to the previous findings of the Bell Inquiry, with the New South Wales Independent Casino Commission (NICC) previously finding that it ‘was not satisfied The Star was progressing its remediation in a timely fashion’.

In the Monday release, The Star’s Executive Chairman David Foster indicated that “The Star does not consider it appropriate at this stage to comment on matters before the Inquiry or any evidence which may be given”.

The executive furthered that “The Star will continue to cooperate with the Inquiry’.

David Foster has taken over the responsibilities of former CEO Robbie Cooke, who resigned in late March as the company hoped to improve its image ahead of the results of the new probe.

The results of the inquiry are scheduled to be released on May 31st, ahead of the June 30th deadline, when the current manager’s appointment ends and the group must be deemed compliant or lose its casino license in the state.

Only two casinos operate in Sydney, one run by Crown Resorts and the other by The Star.

Expert Ben Lee had previously opined to AGB that a loss of The Star’s license could lead to its casino being taken over by rival Crown Resorts.

Crown Resorts was recently allowed to retain its Victorian Casino license, following a review by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) after similar malpractice at its Melbourne casino.

Crown is still awaiting the results of the NSW inquiry into its Sydney property. IGamiX’s Managing Partner Ben Lee previously noted that Crown benefits from a closer relationship with regional governments than The Star, aided by its comprehensive approach to remediation following the identification of its malpractice.

Kelsey Wilhelm
Kelsey Wilhelm
Kelsey Wilhelm is a broadcast, print journalist and editor based in Asia for over 15 years. Focused on content creation, management, cross-cultural exchange and interviews for multi-lingual productions. Writing focus on gaming, business, politics, culture and heritage, events and celebrities, subcultures, music, film, art and fashion. Some of Kelsey's specialties are: editing, writing, copy creation, multi-lingual content production, cross-cultural exchange, content creation and management for Asian markets.