September 14, 2021 3 min read

The Star Sydney in New South Wales to Face Crown-Style Scrutiny

If The Star Sydney in New South Wales (NSW) has been playing by the book, its owner, Star Entertainment Group, has nothing to worry about. If the casino hasn’t, though, Star should be more than a little concerned. The casino is about to be scrutinized by Adam Bell SC, the same lawyer who helped take down Crown Resorts in NSW after it was determined that the casino operator wasn’t worthy of holding a gaming license in the Australian state.

Star Sydney Facing Scrutiny

It has been expected, ever since Crown Resorts started to fall apart, that Australia’s casino industry was going to come under the gun. Financial and gaming regulators have gone on the offensive and have decided to take a closer look at all casino operations across the country. Now, the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) is making good on its promise and has asked Bell to determine if The Star Sydney is operating within the boundaries of compliance and whether it should be allowed to retain its casino license.

These reviews are carried out with the co-operation of the casino operator to ensure the casino remains free from criminal influence or exploitation and doesn’t cause harm to the public interest.”

ILGA Chair Philip Crawford

Bell was the lead counsel in NSW’s grilling of Crown and his input was largely responsible for the company’s downfall in the state. The upcoming investigation is part of a recurring requirement that all casinos in NSW be reviewed every five years; however, this time, armed with additional knowledge and insight, Bell’s examination is likely to be a completely different type of assault than previous investigations.

NSW Supports Investigation Findings

Crown was given the ax in NSW following the recommendations included in the Bergin Report, named for Patricia Bergin, the former Supreme Court Judge who was in charge of the investigation. The state government accepted all of the recommendations in that report, which included everything from stripping Crown of its license to establishing new regulatory oversight going forward. Happy with how the Crown investigation was conducted, the NSW government isn’t likely to hesitate once Bell delivers his final review.

According to ILGA Chair Philip Crawford, “Mr. Bell was the lead senior counsel assisting the Bergin Inquiry into Crown Resorts’ Barangaroo casino and, as such, has extensive knowledge of casino regulatory matters in NSW including the issues of concern identified in the Bergin Report. This experience provides Mr. Bell with a deep understanding of the current casino landscape which will be invaluable for this role.”

Australia’s financial watchdog, AUSTRAC (the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre), has already indicated that Crown isn’t the only casino operator to be manipulating the rules. That will likely give Bell a starting point for the new Star investigation or, at the very least, be a large part of it. While the Crown investigations have dragged on in other states, it isn’t expected that the results of the Star Sydney scrutiny will take long to be revealed. The findings are expected to be delivered by this coming January.


Erik brings his unique writing talents and storytelling flare to cover a wide range of gambling topics. He has written for a number of industry-related publications over the years, providing insight into the constantly evolving world of gaming. A huge sports fan, he especially enjoys football and anything related to sports gambling. Erik is particularly interested in seeing how sports gambling and online gaming are transforming the larger gaming ecosystem.

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