The Ville reportedly paid an illegal junket operator in cash and loyalty points in an effort to bring high rollers to the Townsville casino.
The state government noted the seriousness of the allegations, and said that an investigation by the Office of Liquor and Gambling Regulation is now underway.
The Cairns Reef Hotel Casino has also been included in the allegations. The Ville has, however, said the casino operated lawfully and that there were factual inaccuracies in the report.
The investigation comes amid the inquiry into The Star Entertainment Group’s Queensland casinos; The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane. Headed by former Court of Appeal judge Robert Gotterson, the inquiry is probing junket operations, along with VIP patrons and high rollers.
Last week, public hearings of the inquiry heard that “one of the top 10 table players” at the group’s Gold Coast venue had been banned by police from casinos in two other states.
The hearing was told that the patron was excluded from a Melbourne casino in December 2014, and from a New South Wales venue in 2015, but was not given a group-wide withdrawal of licence until January 2021.
The operator also admitted that it wasn’t entirely truthful with Queensland regulators when it changed a policy in order to conceal AU$55m (US$38.4m) in prohibited gambling transactions from a Chinese bank.
The Star is currently building its Queen’s Wharf casino, a multi-billion-dollar development in Brisbane’s CBD which is expected to open in 2023.