Australian casino operator Star Entertainment has been slapped with an AUD 140,000 ($92,300) fine for its involvement in unlawful activities, including illegally assisting patrons in using credit cards for gambling at its Brisbane and Gold Coast casinos.
Following an investigation by the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) in Queensland, the operator pleaded guilty to 11 charges in the Brisbane Magistrates Court, leading to the ruling.
The operator faced seven charges pertaining to Queensland’s casino legislation, which strictly forbids the use of credit cards for purchasing gambling chips. The accusations centered on accepting credit wagers exceeding AUD 170,000 ($112,124) from 2017 to 2022.
The remaining four charges were related to the operator’s act of sending promotional material to excluded patrons. Additionally, the company was directed to pay AUD 3,250 ($2,143) in court costs.
According to ABC News, magistrate Shane Elliott stated that all the offenses involved elements of human error and that the investigation found no evidence of systemic problems at the casinos or “flagrant breaches” of Queensland’s Casino Control Act.
The latest financial penalty follows other recent and more significant financial blows for the operator. The NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) suspended Star’s Sydney license and slapped the company with a fine of AUD100 million ($62.7 million) in October 2022. The move was in response to a damning inquiry into the casino’s operations that heard allegations of money laundering, fraud, and criminal activity.
The Star Sydney
The Queensland government followed the NSW commission’s lead in December last year but did not suspend Star’s casino licenses in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, instead opting to levy an AUD 100 million fine.
The legal struggles are seemingly adding financial stress on the company as it announced in April plans to cut 500 jobs, freeze salaries, and cancel all executive bonuses after experiencing “a significant and rapid deterioration in operating conditions,” particularly at its Sydney and Gold Coast casinos.