Australian State Launches Investigation into Star Entertainment License

Hotel rooms above the Star Casino complex in Sydney illuminated at night, February 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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SYDNEY, June 14 (Reuters) – The Australian state of Queensland on Tuesday announced an independent investigation into whether Star Entertainment Group (SGR.AX) could hold a casino license following allegations of money laundering in New South Wales.

Two of Australia’s largest casino companies, Crown Resorts (CWN.AX) and Star, are under scrutiny over allegations of violating anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism laws.

“The Liquor and Gambling Regulatory Authority regarding The Star is ongoing and they continue to work with the Queensland Police and (Australian Financial Crime Regulator),” said Queensland Attorney General Shannon Fentiman.

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The star did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company operates a casino in Brisbane, the state capital, and the popular tourist destination of the Gold Coast, and is a joint venture partner in an A$3.6 billion ($2.5 billion) casino project due to open next year in Brisbane .

An ongoing investigation in New South Wales (NSW) found that Star had broken the law, while investigations in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland found that Crown had also broken the law. Executives from both companies have dropped allegations made during these investigations.

According to Fentiman, the terms of reference for the Queensland investigation will be made public after review by the state cabinet.

($1 = AUD 1.4422)

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Reporting by Renju Jose; editing by Stephen Coates

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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