The Star Entertainment Group Limited found unfit to hold a New South Wales casino license
Star Entertainment, which operates The Star casino in Sydney, could lose its gambling license in 14 days unless it undergoes major changes.
While outlining a devastating ultimatum now with Star executives, NSW‘s casino regulator Philip Crawford delivered a withering assessment of the casino and its operations, which he said had become a haven of organised criminal activity.
Up to 8000 jobs at the casino were now at imminent risk, he warned.
Despite the financial impact on scores of innocent workers, Crawford said he would not hesitate to shut The Star down, if necessary.
“The institutional arrogance of this company has been breathtaking and their willingness to take risks in pursuing financial goals has been appalling,” Crawford said.
He said the casino had “incurred substantial risks” around money laundering and by allowing criminals to gamble on their floor.
Crawford said there had “been infiltration by organised crime” at The Star, and the operation had “paid scant regard” to harm minimisation for problem gamblers.
“When you are talking about things like money laundering, for instance, you are allowing known criminals to operate with impunity and almost without constraint in your casino.”
He said money laundering at The Star was “not about hiding a bit of money from the tax office”; instead it was the casino “assisting organised crime and very bad people who have done bad things convert their cash from those activities to cash they can use in an illegitimate way in our society”.
The Star “took deliberate actions to mislead and deceive” their own bank, their own board of directors and regulators, he said.
Crawford said The Star could lose its licence, have its licence suspended, face major fines or a combination of actions.
The casino has 14 days to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against it.