The Queensland government is resisting calls for a public inquiry into Star Entertainment’s fitness to hold a casino licence.
Multiple probes were launched into Star’s due diligence in October after Nine media reports alleging that criminals were benefiting from the company’s lax anti-money laundering controls.
Queensland’s Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation, police and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, the federal regulator, have been investigating the company for the last five months.
A public inquiry into Star is under way in NSW as well, but Queensland Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman won’t say if she will also order a public inquiry.
“The government will very carefully consider the allegations made in relation to Star – they will continue the investigations that are underway – and also the outcomes of any inquiries,” she told parliament on Wednesday, in response to Greens MP Michael Berkman’s questions.
The NSW gaming regulator is investigating whether The Star Sydney has been subject to criminal infiltration, and if the venue’s casino licence should be stripped.
The inquiry has so far heard damning evidence about practices at the casino, prompting the resignation this week of Star Entertainment chief executive Matt Bekier.
The group operates a casino on the Gold Coast, Treasury Brisbane and is a major proponent behind the Queen’s Wharf development project in the state capital.
In January, Star told shareholders that AUSTRAC was expanding the scope of its investigation to other Sydney-based entities within the group.
“The Star takes its anti-money laundering obligations very seriously and will fully cooperate with AUSTRAC in relation to its requests for information and documents and the investigation,” the company said.
Ms Fentiman previously confirmed a probe was launched to assess the company’s due diligence after Nine media reports earlier this week said alleged criminals were benefiting from Star’s lax anti-money laundering controls.
“These investigations will consider the appropriateness and effectiveness of Star’s due diligence processes and how the Star approaches exclusions to ensure people are excluded from all properties where appropriate,” she told parliament in October.
At the time Star said the media reports were misleading, although it could not publicly discuss individual allegations.