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The Star Group faces allegations of money laundering

Shares in casino operator The Star Group fell almost 20% after allegations of money laundering, organised crime, large-scale fraud and foreign interference.

StarAustralia

Allegations published by the media, including the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, claim that between 2014 and 2021, Star Entertainment catered to high-roller gamblers who are allegedly associated with criminal or foreign-influence operations. The company reportedly also disguised gambling activity as hotel expenses in the case of some Chinese players.

The group responded that the allegations were false, saying: “The Star is concerned by a number of assertions within the media reports that it considers misleading. There are constraints on publicly discussing specific individuals. We will take the appropriate steps to address all allegations with relevant state and federal regulators and authorities.

“The Star operates in a heavily regulated industry. We are subject to thorough and ongoing regulatory oversight including compliance checks and reviews across the company’s operations in NSW and Queensland.”

The company assured The Star takes recommendations of the Bergin Inquiry seriously as they will impact the regulation of casinos in NSW. The group's Sydney casino is currently being reviewed by the New South Wales Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA).

It is expected that The Star might lose its Victoria licence or at the very least face stricter regulations. However, the decision will ultimately be left in the hands of investigating authorities. The situation is closely resembling the Crown Resorts scandal, which saw restrictions placed on the company’s activities.

The news also seemingly impacted more than The Star, as the shares of SkyCity Entertainment Group and Crown also dipped.

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