The Star provides further response to money laundering and organised crime allegations

By Peter Lynch

The Star Entertainment Group has issued a further response to recent media reports that included allegations of money laundering, organised crime, large-scale fraud and foreign interference.

Allegations published by The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and 60 Minutes claim that, between 2014 and 2021, the operator catered to high-roller gamblers who had associations with criminal or foreign-influence operations.

An investigation has since been launched by the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation along with the Queensland Police and AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre), concerning the group’s Queensland casinos in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

The Star responded to such allegations saying it “is concerned by a number of assertions within the media reports that it considers misleading.”

And the company has now provided a further update on the situation, noting that assertions by recent media reports regarding reports prepared by KPMG - a network of professional services firms providing audit, tax and advisory services - were incorrect.

The media reports claim that reports prepared by KPMG in 2018 were kept secret and not adequately acted on, but such claims are incorrect, according to The Star.

“The relevant reports relate to the regular independent review of The Star's Anti-money Laundering and Counter-terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) Program conducted in accordance with the AML/CTF Act and Rules,” a statement from the company read.

“The reports, findings and outcomes from the review were considered by The Star (including the board) and acted on. 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 AML compliance framework, under the board’s oversight.”

The group added that details of the review were shared with the AML/CTF regulator, AUSTRAC and referred to in a statement by The Star to the Bergin Inquiry.

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