Qld govt to probe Star’s casino licence

The Queensland government will launch a probe into Star Entertainment’s suitability to hold a casino licence in the state.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman has been resisting ordering an inquiry into Star, which is building a flagship casino and resort development in Brisbane’s CBD and operates two other casinos in the city and the Gold Coast.

However, she’s now ordered a probe into the casino operator’s suitability to hold a licence in Queensland after a NSW inquiry heard allegations Star had potentially acted criminally.


“There will also be an independent expert review into the suitability of The Star to keep its casino licence,” Ms Fentiman said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The terms of reference will be released, following consideration by Cabinet.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday foreshadowed a possible probe into Star, which has been under investigation for eight months in Queensland.

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, the federal regulator have been probing Star’s money-laundering controls in the state.

“The Palaszczuk government takes the allegations of money laundering and integrity issues very seriously,” Ms Fenitman added.

Star has also been called to give evidence at an inquiry into proposed gambling and money laundering laws in Queensland.

A parliamentary committee is probing laws proposed after probes into Crown and Star in multiple states.

The changes would allow more cashless gambling, and impose penalties of up $50 million for legal breaches.

Legal Affairs and Safety Committee chair Peter Russo said the bill was intended to stamp out money laundering and other “unsavoury” practices at casinos.

However, he admitted the proposed Queensland laws won’t stop laundering when operators themselves were involved.

Star is the proponent behind the $3.6 billion Queens Wharf development, an integrated casino and resort in the Brisbane CBD.

The proposed casino bill would also force operators, licensees and lessees to self-report legal breaches and expand the Queensland government’s power to gather information about their operations.

© AAP 2022