February 19, 2024 3 min read


The Star Entertainment Faces Bell Two Investigation

The Star Entertainment Group will be faced with a second inquiry into its ability to preserve its NSW casino license

The Star Entertainment Group, Australia’s iconic ASX-listed group that owns and operates The Star Sydney, The Star Gold Coast, and Treasury Brisbane has announced it faces a second inquiry into its suitability to hold on to a casino license

At the moment, the group has six critical months to prove that it is capable of independently managing its New South Wales (NSW) operations, in the context of the NSW regulator remaining dissatisfied with its current oversight. 

The Star’s license was suspended in October 2022 when the company failed to comply with several regulations. Now, The Star’s main point of focus is to effectively implement the necessary remediation measures to make sure it does not lose its license permanently.

The New Inquiry Will Revisit Bell’s Findings

The initial report that was led by senior counsel Adam Bell uncovered several problems, including systemic risk, governance, and cultural failures

The report concluded the group was not fit to manage its casino in Sydney after it was infiltrated by organized crime gangs of Asian origins.

The New South Wales Independent Casino Commission (NICC) decided to suspend the group’s license and apply a record fine of AU$100 million ($65,367,000).

Additionally, the NICC appointed an external manager responsible for overseeing the company’s operations and making sure it successfully implements its remediation plan.

On February 19, the NICC asked Bell to conduct Bell Two, a new inquiry that is expected to bring them “back to the Bell Report and The Star’s efforts to regain its casino license in the shadow of that report.” 

Bell Two to Run for 15 Weeks

The new inquiry will be initiated today and end on May 31, 2024. The hearings will be held in camera. 

The fresh report will be made public in due course. Philip Crawford, NICC’s chief commissioner, explained 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.” 

Among other aspects it will assess, the new report will establish if the group can meet its financial obligations under the casino license and fund its remediation program.

Ultimately, the results of the Bell Two inquiry will offer the NICC the information it needs to decide for the group, its staff members, stakeholders, and the wider community overall.

At the end of January, Star Entertainment announced a series of fresh regulations that would help curb excessive gambling.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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