Queensland’s attorney general, Shannon Fentiman, has ordered an inquiry into Star Entertainment’s suitability to hold a casino license in the state.
Queensland the second state to question Star’s suitability to operate a casino
This is the second inquiry of this kind that the casino operator has faced in Australia following the recent probe by the New South Wales regulator that uncovered potential criminal activity at the company’s casino.
In a statement released by the Queensland government, Fentiman said:
“There will also be an independent expert review into the suitability of The Star to keep its casino licence. The terms of reference will be released, following consideration by cabinet.”
The news of the inquiry came as a surprise as Fentiman had previously resisted calls to investigate the company which is currently in the process of constructing a casino and resort in Brisbane and operates two other casinos in the city and the Gold Coast.
Star Entertainment has already been under investigation by the Office for Liquor and Gaming Regulation for eight months in Queensland. The regulator alongside the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) has been investigating Star’s money-laundering controls in the state. However, this new investigation will be held separately.
The company has also been called upon to give evidence for a parliamentary committee’s probe into proposed gambling and money laundering laws in Queensland. The new laws will allow more cashless gambling and impose heftier fines of up to AU$50 million on any breaches of licensing conditions.
However, committee chair, Peter Russo, has said that the laws as they stand will not stop money laundering if the casino operator is involved. This is because the laws will require operators to self-report legal breaches.