Australia’s Star Entertainment Group has been slapped with its second AU$100 million fine in less than two months as part of disciplinary action taken by the Queensland state government.
The action, announced by Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman on Friday, is in response to the findings of the recent Gotterson Review into Star’s Queensland casinos – The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane – which resulted in Star being found unsuitable to hold a state casino license.
Aside from Star being fined a total of AU$100 million, to be paid over 12 months, the government will appoint “an experienced independent special manager to monitor The Star’s operations in Queensland.”
It has also announced a 90-day suspension of Star’s Queensland casino licenses, deferred until 1 December 2023 in order to give the company an opportunity to remediate its management and operations and get back to a position of suitability.
This is the second massive fine to be imposed on Star after the NSW regulator announced an identical AU$100 million fine in October for failings at The Star Sydney.
“Queensland casinos must operate with integrity – and it is clear that there have been major failings by the Star group and its entities,” Fentiman said.
“Like many Queenslanders, I was appalled at the extent of the actions of The Star in welcoming excluded persons to their casinos and the exorbitant incentives on offer for questionable gamblers.”
Fentiman revealed that Nicholas Weeks – the same man appointed to oversee Star’s remediation efforts in NSW – has also been named special manager in Queensland.
“Having a special manager that monitors the operations of The Star in both states will ensure they will be looked at as one operating entity and provide consistency across jurisdictions,” she said.
“Should The Star make satisfactory progress towards rectifying these issues, the special manager and I may determine to postpone or rescind the suspension of licences.”
In a statement, the Chief Commissioner of the NSW Independent Casino Commission, Philip Crawford, said he supported the appointment of Weeks in both states.
“The appointment of Mr Weeks as Queensland’s special manager will further support our ongoing collaboration with our Queensland regulatory counterparts,” he said.
“This will ensure The Star acts consistently and complies with their obligations – no matter which state they operate in.”