Inquiry says Star unfit to hold Sydney casino licence

STORY: Australia’s second biggest casino operator has been found unfit to hold a casino license in Sydney.

New South Wales regulators said that Tuesday...

...after an inquiry into Star Entertainment Group of alleged breaches of anti-money laundering laws, and criminal infiltration.

The state's independent casino commissioner Philip Crawford called the resulting report 'shocking'.

"Now they incurred substantial risks around the following topics - money laundering, allowing criminals to gamble in their casinos, the infiltration by organized crime and they paid scant regard to proper harm minimization criteria. And then they took deliberate actions to mislead and deceive their own bank, their own board of directors and the regulator."

Crawford added that large sums of money were disguised by the casino as hotel expenses and enormous sums of cash dodged anti-money laundering protocols, mostly through a secret room with a second cash cage.

In a statement, Star has said they are reviewing the report and will respond to the NICC within fourteen days.

The Commissioner also said that regulators were still not getting the "vibe" from Star that it was serious about fixing its problems.

"The institutional arrogance of this company has been breathtaking and their willingness to take risk in pursuit of financial goals has been appalling."

The report comes at a time when Australia’s casino sector is under serious scrutiny after claims against Crown Resorts of money laundering.

Under new laws that came into effect last week, the NICC can fine casino operators up to a hundred million Australian dollars and individuals a million dollars for any serious breaches.