New investigation into Sydney casino after damning report

New investigation into Sydney casino after damning report
New investigation into Sydney casino after damning report

The NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) today appointed lawyer Adam Bell to conduct the new 15-week probe, saying it’s not convinced the Sydney casino is making the changes required to regain its gambling licence urgently enough.

Bell headed the original report, which was released in September 2022.

The Star casino in Sydney is facing another inquiry. (Edwina Pickles)

”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,” NICC chief commissioner Philip Crawford said.

“When the manager was extended for the second time in December last year, the NICC was not satisfied The Star was progressing its remediation in a timely fashion.

“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.

“Bell Two will bring us back to the Bell report and The Star’s efforts to regain its casino licence in the shadow of that report.”

The original Bell report painted a bleak picture of a casino whose compliance failures had led to “substantial risks” around money laundering, criminals gambling on its floor, and fraud.

Crawford said at the time the entire casino may have been shut down as a result of those findings had it not been for the thousands of jobs that would have been lost.

Most of The Star’s executives and all of its board have been replaced since then, but Crawford said it isn’t working quickly enough to regain its licence.

“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,” he said.

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

The Star entered a trading halt this morning ahead of the announcement of the investigation.

The inquiry’s report is due to be handed down by May 31.


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