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Star Entertainment Group "Unsuitable" to Hold Casino Licence in Queensland

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

In October of 2022 Queensland's Attorney-General, Shannon Fentiman, announced that the state's casino regulator will issue Star Entertainment Group with a show cause notice questioning why it should be allowed to continue operating casinos in Queensland. The notice follows the release of an independent review by former Court of Appeal Judge, Robert Gotterson.

The Star Gold Coast, foregrounded by Star Entertainment Group's logo and the text "Star Entertainment"

The review analysed Star Entertainment Group's operations in Queensland, its relationships with VIP patrons and its level of compliance with anti-money laundering regulation. It was revealed during inquiry hearings that high-risk gamblers were "actively encouraged" to travel to Queensland to gamble at Star's two casinos.

Star Entertainment Group currently operates The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane. The Group's Brisbane license is intended to transfer across to the $3.6 billion Queen's Wharf Casino development which is currently under construction.

Ms. Fentiman stated that the report highlighted "major failings" with the group:

"Mr. Gotterson found Star was not forthcoming or transparent in its dealings with its banker or the regulator and its actions were indicative of a one-eyed focus on profit."

In September 2022, a 1000-page report following an inquiry by the NSW gaming regulator was released which found that casino operator had "repeatedly breached the law, misled banks and were infiltrated by criminal elements," with regards to its NSW casino operations. Geoff Hogg, then-acting chief executive officer of Star Entertainment Group resigned after the Bell Report found the group "not suitable" to operate casinos in NSW.

In 2015, the Queensland government endorsed Hong Kong businessman, Chow Fai Took, as a "fit and proper partner" in building the Queen's Wharf project. In August 2022 an ABC investigation revealed the Chow Fai Took and his associated entities had been involved in Chinese organised crime for the past several decades which prompted the Queensland inquiry.

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