July 5, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier
Following some damning findings and admittances in inquiries and reviews into Crown and The Star, South Australia’s liquor and gambling regulator has announced a review of SkyCity Adelaide amid concerns that Australia’s whole casino industry has systemic issues.
“Inquiries to date have highlighted significant failings on the part of Crown Resorts as operators of Crown Casinos,” said South Australia’s Liquor and Gambling Commissioner Dini Soulio.
“In addition, Star Entertainment Group is the subject of a current inquiry in NSW where significant failings have been identified.
“A number of the matters raised to date extend beyond any one organisation and point instead to broader systemic issues within the casino industry.
“As a result, an investigation will be undertaken by the Honourable Brian Martin AO QC to ensure that the way that SkyCity operates demonstrates that the licensee is still suitable to hold the casino licence in South Australia,” he said.
Martin will hand down his findings following the inquiry by February 1, 2023.
A report on the review of The Star in New South Wales is expected to be delivered to the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) at the end of August this year.
The Queensland government is also launching a review into The Star Entertainment Group’s operations in the state, where the group runs The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane and is set to open The Star Brisbane in the multi-billion-dollar Queen’s Wharf development next year.
A report on the Queensland review is expected to be handed to the state government by September 30, 2022.
While Crown was initially found unsuitable to hold a gambling licence by inquiries in New South Wales, Victoria and Perth, Crown Sydney has recently been granted a conditional licence to open some of its gambling operations, under monitoring, and both Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth have been permitted to continue operating while undertaking remediation activities.
With luxury accommodation and significant events space operated by all three casino businesses, the clean-up of the casino industry will also improve the ethical basis for choosing these venues and hotels for business events.