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The Star Sydney facing second inquiry

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The Star Sydney facing second inquiry
The Sydney casino is subject to a second inquiry less than two years after the last one wrapped up.

A report on the independent review of The Star Sydney, overseen by Adam Bell, was released in 2022 and found the casino’s operator unsuitable to hold a gaming licence.

The NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) announced yesterday that The Star Sydney will undergo further scrutiny, with the commission concerned about the progress the business has made in returning to suitability.

The original inquiry found significant failings relating to The Star Sydney’s anti-money laundering and counter financial terrorism programs. The NICC believes deep structural change was required by The Star to return to suitability. The casino has had an independent manager overseeing the casino’s operations since October 2022, put in place by the NICC, after the casino’s licence was suspended.

“There was a substantial shift required and The Star has had 18 months to demonstrate that it has the capability and resources to regain its casino licence,” said NICC chief commissioner, Philip Crawford.

“The NICC has had concerns about the extent that remediation is attributable to the manager’s oversight and direction versus what is being driven by The Star’s reform agenda.

“There is much at stake for The Star, so the NICC is giving the casino every chance it can to demonstrate whether it has the capacity and competence to achieve suitability.

“This includes meeting its financial obligations under the casino licence and funding its remediation program sufficiently.

“The inquiry will provide the NICC with the information needed to make an important decision for The Star, its employees, its stakeholders and the wider community.”

The Star has acknowledged the new inquiry and said in a statement to the stock market today it “intends to participate in the inquiry in an open, transparent and facilitative manner”.

“The Star appreciates the opportunity to demonstrate it has the ability to regain suitability and will continue to do all in its power to work cooperatively with all its regulators including the NICC and its appointed manager,” The Star said in its statement.

“The Star remains committed to and focussed on executing its remediation plan and earning back the trust of the community.”

The review is expected to run for around 15 weeks, with a report expected to be back with the NICC by May 31, 2024.

The Star Entertainment Group’s share price dropped sharply today.

The Star Sydney includes considerable event space and two hotels.

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