Australia’s Star Entertainment Group may be in even more trouble as a new inquiry has revealed on Wednesday that the company reportedly chose to work with junket operators in secrecy through the Star Sydney property.
Star Sydney Due Diligence Staffer Says Suncity Was Present in Casino
Based on the public hearings yesterday, it became clear that the company continued to work with Suncity Group, a Macau-based junket operator which recently had its chief executive arrested, even though the two companies informed regulators that they had parted ways in 2019.
The testimony came from The Star Sydney’s group manager due diligence and intelligence staffer Angus Buchanan who said that the company just moved the Suncity junket room to a more private part of the property and continued to work from there without showing any branding associated with Suncity.
According to Buchanan, operations moved from Salon 95 to Salon 82. The Star Sydney inquiry comes in the context of a broader crackdown on dubious practices by casino operators in Australia. Just this week, Crown Resorts was found unsuitable to hold an independent license in Western Australia and would need to work with an independent monitor over the next two years to return back to suitability.
Similar Fate to Crown Resorts Pending for Star Sydney
Crown also faced similar challenges in NSW and Victoria. As to the Star Sydney, the property will now have to face the consequences of these revelations. Star and Suncity had to terminate their agreement due to revelations about AML and CTF measures that were not met in full and while Star said at the time that it would pull out from the partnership it clearly did not.
Buchanan argued that Star’s response was nowhere near efficient or proportionate to the risk that the relationship carried. As a reminder, Suncity Group CEO Alvin Chau was arrested in a widespread crackdown on junket operators in Macau with their numbers now dropping dramatically and concessionaires voluntarily opting out of further relationships with these companies.
The Star Sydney is the second largest casino in Australia after the Crown Melbourne and both properties are now in hot regulatory water.