Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

Wilkie said it would be a disgrace if the NSW regulator subjected Star to less control than it had to crown.

“We need an open and transparent inquiry just as Crown went through with the Bergin inquiry because that is the only way we can trust that the inquiry is effective and that these issues will be cleared up,” Wilkie said.

Star is also facing the prospect of significant negative regulatory findings and sanctions from a separate investigation by the money laundering agency for Austrac into Australia’s casinos, which was launched a month later Aging, Sydney Morning Herald and 60 minutes revealed the criminal infiltration of the Crown in August 2019.

An artist's impression of the future Star Casino in Queens Wharf, Brisbane.

An artist’s impression of the future Star Casino in Queens Wharf, Brisbane.Credit:Star

In a statement, a spokesman for Austrac said the agency “has enforcement investigations underway at several casinos, including The Star, as a result of a proactive compliance campaign that began in September 2019”.

The Queensland regulator, who oversees The Star Gold Coast and Brisbane’s Treasury Casino (The Star Brisbane is set to open next year), said it took “allegations of organized crime infiltration very seriously and has one of the most robust systems in the country” .

However, the Queensland Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation also faces questions about its oversight of Stars’ mistakes. Casino analyst Ben Lee said Star’s bad practices only flourished due to inadequate regulation.

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Two confidential independent inquiries from May 2018 from the auditing firm KPMG describe some of Stars ‘mistakes and were presented to CEO Matt Bekier at a meeting of the Board of Auditors’ Committee on May 24, 2018. The investigations found that The Star Sydney, The Star Gold Coast and Brisbanes Treasury Casino did not have a money laundering system “implemented or operated consistently to control and mitigate its [Star’s] ML / TF [money laundering and terrorism financing] risks ”.

KPMG also warned that Star’s monitoring of suspected gambling “may not adequately detect customers who may be using SGR [Star] to facilitate ML / TF [money laundering/terrorism financing]”.

Star “does not consider terrorist financing as required” by anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws, KPMG found. This failure was even worse in “specific parts of the business, especially where the ML / TF risk may be higher”.

The investigations also found that the casino company had poor resources for its anti-crime department: “There are insufficient resources to run the AML / CTF program.”

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