AUSTRAC Expands Investigation Into Star Entertainment Casinos

AUSTRAC Expands Investigation Into Star Entertainment Casinos January 14, 2022 January 14, 2022 Carolyn Dutton
 Australia January 14, 2022 by Carolyn Dutton

The Star Entertainment GroupSummary

  • AUSTRAC expands investigation of Star Entertainment
  • No confirmation as of now if enforcement action will happen
  • Will Star Entertainment put in another bid for rival Crown Resorts

The Star Entertainment Group announced in October 2021 that it had received a notice from the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) over potential anti-money laundering concerns that took place at its casino in Sydney, New South Wales. The financial watchdog informed Star Entertainment that it was proceeding with an investigation into the matter.

Star Entertainment announced this week that it had received another notice from AUSTRAC informing them that they were going to expand the scope of their investigation into different casino properties across the country as they had concerns that money laundering could have also taken place at multiple locations.

AUSTRAC has advised Star Entertainment that they will be reaching out for documentation and information to aid in the investigation. So far, AUSTRAC has not confirmed if they will be issuing any enforcement action on Star Entertainment for their failings. Star has once again confirmed that it is committed to cooperating with AUSTRAC as it takes these money laundering allegations very seriously.

AUSTRAC has so far not released any information regarding its findings or why it had decided to expand its investigation. Given the failings of Crown Resorts and the public outcry that followed, the Australian financial watchdog is keen to see if Star Entertainment has also been breaching gaming laws across its properties.

There is no indication as of now as to how long the AUSTRAC investigation will run.

Will Star Entertainment Make Another Offer To Crown Resorts?

Crown Resorts dominated the news for the last couple of years for multiple regulatory failings in Australia. The biggest casino operator in the country got in trouble with multiple state gaming regulators while its rival Star Entertainment stayed clear of any controversies.

Star Entertainment even ended up making a bid in July 2021 to acquire Crown Resorts but later dropped the bid after more failings of Crown Resorts emerged. Crown Resorts announced this week that their board of directors have accepted an $8.9 billion acquisition deal from U.S investment giant Blackstone Group.

Will Star Entertainment consider putting in a second bid or will the FINTRAC investigation deter the Australian casino operator from putting in a second offer for Crown Resorts?

Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world