Casino Regulator Hits Australia’s Star With A$100 Million Fine, Suspends License

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by Mike Cherney

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SYDNEY – Casino regulators in the state of New South Wales have fined Star Entertainment Group Ltd. 100 million Australian dollars (US$62 million) and suspended the company’s casino license after an investigation as it failed to operate its casinos. was not suitable. in Sydney.

The regulator will also appoint a manager to oversee the casino, said Philip Crawford, chief commissioner of the NSW Independent Casino Commission. This means the casino will remain open, Mr Crawford said, noting that revoking Star’s license outright could close the casino and cause employees to lose their jobs.

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An earlier investigation found that Sydney casinos had systemic governance, risk and cultural failures, and that large amounts of cash had escaped anti-money laundering protocols, according to the regulator.

Mr Crawford said the appointment of manager Nicholas Weeks to keep the casino open does not mean the regulator now believes Star Casino is fit to hold a license. But he added that there is a possibility that Star will improve its business to the point where it suits.

“The appointment of Mr. Weeks will allow the casino’s operations to continue and his primary focus will be to ensure a strong root cause analysis and review of the casino’s culture,” Mr. Crawford said in a media release.

Mr Crawford noted that Starr has publicly apologized and acknowledged serious wrongdoing, and that he is willing to cooperate with the regulator.

Australian casinos, including Star’s rival Crown Resorts, have been subject to increased regulatory scrutiny in recent years, which have uncovered serious problems, prompting executives and board members to step down. Local authorities have also strengthened the oversight of casinos.

Last week, Star said that Robbie Cook, its new chief executive, would take over starting today.

Star shares were placed in a trading halt on Monday ahead of the announcement.

Write to Mike Cherney at [email protected]

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