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Queensland Attorney General Shannon Fentiman has said there will be consequences if gambling giant The Star is deemed unfit to hold its casino licenses in two states. This is the clearest signal yet for the reason behind a push to toughen sanctions against the sector.
The state decided last month to impose fines of up to $50 million on operators found guilty of regulatory violations — beyond penalties based on available leases and licenses — but avoided by other states that found competitor Crown unfit.
Fentiman was pressed on the issue after new questions were raised by this masthead about the company’s efforts to woo blacklisted players from other states and the lack of police action for them. problems prohibiting their own opinions.
She described the reports as “incredibly concerning” and said details released by an NSW inquiry into Star’s suitability for a license in that state were a key reason her government was launching a similar review.
The terms of reference are due to be made public next week, but it remains unclear whether a public hearing – a major feature of the NSW Inquiry and similar inquiries into Crown in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney – will take place.
Separate investigations by Queensland Police, regulators and the national anti-money laundering agency AUSTRAC are ongoing.
Asked about potential penalties for unfavorable results, Fentiman pointed to moves to Victoria where a special manager oversees Crown operations to give the company two years to “get its house in order”, rather than to trigger the wider impacts of a license revocation.
“We’ll wait to see what this independent review comes up with, but if they’re found to be inappropriate, there will be consequences,” Fentiman said.