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Raw deal: Star rejects claims it failed to act on money laundering report

Business

Under siege casino operator The Star has rejected media claims that it failed to act on a report that highlighted risks to money laundering.

 

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It folllows revelations that the State Government and Queensland Police had launched an investigation into allegations of money laundering and criminal activity at Queensland’s Star casinos in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

The company said the KPMG reports were not secret and the recommendations within the report had been acted on.

The allegations of money laundering and incomplete vetting of high roller gamblers were contained in reports published by the Nine Group’s Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and 60 Minutes.

The Star said it had regular regular independent reviews of its anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorism funding (CTF) program.

“The reports, finding and outcomes from the review were considered by The Star board and acted upon,” it said.

“The actions included The Star adopting an updated AML/CTF program as a priority in October 2018 and undertaking a program of work to enhance its anti-money laundering compliance framework, under the board’s oversight.

Previously, Attorney General Shannon Fentiman said the allegations of money laundering and integrity issues were “very serious”, and the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation were undertaking appropriate investigations, along with the Queensland Police and AUSTRAC.

NSW regulators have launched similar investigations.

“The investigation will consider the appropriateness and effectiveness of Star’s due diligence processes in relation to anti-money laundering and how the Star approaches exclusions to ensure people are excluded from all properties where appropriate,” Fentiman said

 “I have been following the outcomes of the Bergin Inquiry and the related inquiries being undertaken in Victoria, Western Australia and New South Wales.

“The Government will be considering the outcomes of the various inquiries carefully and will make any necessary changes to the regulatory framework.”

The Bergin Inquiry investigated allegations within the Crown Resorts casinos which led to a finding that it was not fit told hold a casino licence at the Barangaroo site in Sydney.

The reports by Nine Group alleged that the Star was made aware of failures in its measures to prevent money laundering by a report done for it by KPMG in 2018. The report also outlined how the casinos had not properly vetted junket gamblers.

The Government said the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation was also working closely with regulators in Victoria, WA and NSW to monitor developments in their respective inquiries and the findings could be included in any changes to the regulatory framework.

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