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Star denies reports of organised crime

·1-min read

Casino group Star Entertainment has denied claims it unwittingly allowed money laundering and fraud.

The operator of casinos in Queensland and Sydney on Monday responded to Nine media reports which alleged criminals were benefiting from lax anti-money laundering controls.

Star said the reports were misleading, although it could not publicly discuss individuals.

The company will address the allegations with regulators. These include Adam Bell SC, who is reviewing controls at The Star Sydney casino for NSW regulators.

Mr Bell was lead senior counsel in a NSW inquiry into Crown Resorts' Sydney casino. That inquiry discovered serious failings in anti-money laundering controls and prompted royal commissions in Victoria and Western Australia.

Mr Bell's review of the The Star casino will determine whether the operator is suitable to hold the licence.

Nine's TV and newspaper coverage alleged Star Entertainment had similar failings to rival Crown.

The reports claimed consultants in 2018 told the board the anti-money laundering and terror financing controls were failing. The reports said little had been done since.

Star said it traded in a heavily regulated industry and its operations were often checked and reviewed.

Its Queensland casinos are The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane.

In better news for the group, the Sydney casino has re-opened after coronavirus rules eased in NSW. It had been closed since June 25.

The venue is trading at limited capacity and with virus conditions.

The Queensland casinos, which have continued trading, had capacity limits raised on Friday.

Customers at the Queensland casinos helped Star recently turn a full-year profit after a loss the prior year.

Star shares were down more than 21 per cent to $3.36 at 1526 AEDT.

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