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Casino giant is hit with $100million fine AGAIN – as Star Entertainment is warned to take money laundering seriously: ‘Get your house in order’
Embattled casino operator Star Entertainment has been slapped with a $100 million fine after a probe into compliance breaches in Queensland.
State Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said the record fine sends a clear and strong message that unlawful and criminal behaviour would not be tolerated in casinos.
The blow comes after the gambling giant was also hit with a $100million fine and the suspension of its casino licence after an inquiry in NSW that sparked the Queensland probe.
Ms Fentiman said Nick Weeks had been appointed special manager to reform the ASX-listed company’s operations in Queensland.
Queensland’s Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman (pictured) said the record fine sends a clear and strong message that unlawful behaviour would not be tolerated in casinos
Mr Weeks has also been appointed by NSW authorities to rehabilitate Star’s Sydney casino operation.
Star faces a 90-day suspension of its two casino licences if it fails to enact reforms by December 2023.
‘This is a significant pecuniary penalty of $100 million, which sends a very strong message to the Star that they absolutely have to get this right and they have to get back to suitability,’ Ms Fentiman told reporters.
‘Essentially, this means that Star has 12 months to get their house in order If they do not want to see a 90-day suspension of their licence,’ Ms Fentiman said on Friday.
‘These penalties have been considered very carefully following the damning findings from the Gotterson review as well as considering the responses from Star as part of the show cause process.’
Ms Fentiman said it was time for Star to get its house in order.
‘What we saw coming out of the Gotterson review was that one-eyed focus on profits, where they did not really resource their anti-money laundering policies,’ she said.
The Queensland review found Star was found unfit to hold its two Queensland casino licences
‘They did not take it seriously. They allowed patrons excluded from New South Wales into Queensland casinos, and they lied to the regulator and their bank about the nature of China Union Pay transactions.
‘Clearly, they are the actions of a company that is not suitable to hold a licence.’
The Queensland review found Star was found unfit to hold its two Queensland casino licences which initially put the future of the company’s $3.6billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane casino and resort in doubt.
However, a last-minute change to casino laws paved the way for Star to open the development as planned next year.
The new blow for Star Entertainment (casino pictured) comes after the gambling giant was also hit with a $100million fine and the suspension of its casino licence after an inquiry in NSW
Star Entertainment is also embroiled in a civil action in the Federal Court after the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) lodged a case against the ASX-listed gambling giant.
AUSTRAC alleges Star allowed customers to move money through non-transparent and highly risky channels, it claimed it didn’t know where the money in those channels was coming from and failed to consider their ongoing business relationships with higher-risk patrons.
The regulator says Star Sydney has breached the law 1189 times, and Star Queensland has breached the law 325 times, since November 2016, with each individual breach carrying a maximum penalty between $18 million and $22.2 million.