Star Entertainment’s share value has experienced a significant decline after the Australian gambling giant faced allegations that it has been allowing illegal activity at its casino venues for years.
According to a joint report issued by three news outlets, the gambling operator has had links to organised crime and has been involved in money laundering and fraud. Star Entertainment, however, has turned down the claims, which resulted in a share value slump, as “misleading”. The gambling company further noted that it operates in an industry that is heavily regulated and is subject to a comprehensive regulatory oversight that includes reviews and compliance checks across Star’s operations.
The casino operator’s shares dropped by 19.2% to AU$3.46 after the company responded to the aforementioned media reports.
In a statement released to the Australian Securities Exchange, the casino company also shared that it was concerned by the assertions made in some media reports. The casino operator also shared it would take the appropriate steps to address the “misleading” allegations with the relevant federal and state authorities and regulatory bodies.
According to a report by The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, as well as the TV programme 60 Minutes, the management of Star Entertainment had been warned that the gambling operator’s anti-money laundering controls were not adequate. The report claims that in the 7-year period between 2014 and 2021 the Australian gambling giant has been luring high-roller gamblers who were allegedly linked to overseas criminal organisations.
NSW Gambling Regulator Currently Reviewing the Star Sydney Casino
Currently, the Star Sydney casino is being reviewed by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) of New South Wales (NSW).
The gambling company’s investors have been anxious after similar allegations made back in 2019 in the three media hub’s publications against Crown Resorts triggered an avalanche of public investigations into the gambling giant, which future as a leading casino operator in Australia has come under question.
As Casino Guardian previously reported, the gambling regulatory body in the state of New South Wales found Crown Resorts unsuitable to keep its operating licence for its Barangaroo casino in Sydney following the results of the official inquiry of Commissioner Patricia Bergin, which showed that the casino company had facilitated money laundering for years.
The investigation heard that Star Entertainment had also taken advantage of Asian junket operators and hosted 20 private gaming salons that operated to serve high-roller VIP customers at the Star Sydney alone.
Reports of The Sydney Morning Herald alleged that Star Entertainment has been engaged in similar activities but it has not faced the same level of public scrutiny as its local competitor. Furthermore, the media outlets claimed that some individuals, who had been suspended from gambling in the Star Sydney casino by the authorities due to their links to organized crime, have actually been able to gamble at the gambling giant’s Gold Coast casino in Queensland.
The gambling regulatory body in NSW, which oversees Star Sydney, revealed that it was preparing a statement to respond to the media reports. The article published by the local news hubs cited sources with knowledge of Star Entertainment’s operations, internal company documents, intelligence briefings, as well as court cases.
Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.