February 25, 2024

The Queensland Government has given The Star Entertainment Group an extension of six months to demonstrate its eligibility to operate its casinos in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The decision comes after the company was fined AU$100 million in December 2020 due to serious deficiencies uncovered in a 2021 investigation. The initial deadline for the company to prove its suitability as a responsible casino operator was next month, but it has now been extended to May 31st, 2024.

Star Entertainment has indicated to the Australian Stock Exchange that Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath has approved its 640-point remediation plan, which outlines the steps the company will take to rectify its failings. Failure to comply with the plan could result in a suspension of its gaming license and fines of up to AU$5 million.

Additionally, the government has extended the appointment of special manager Nicholas Weeks for another year. Weeks was appointed by the NSW Independent Casino Commission to oversee Star’s operations in New South Wales. Attorney-General D’Ath stated that the oversight of the special manager is crucial until she is satisfied that the company is taking action of its own accord to rectify the issues.

Star’s Chief Executive and managing director, Robbie Cooke, acknowledged the importance of the remediation plan, stating that it is a crucial step in regaining the trust and confidence of stakeholders and communities. Cooke emphasized the company’s commitment to implementing the plan rigorously and with discipline, recognizing that holding casino licenses is a privilege, not a right.

The news was reported by Ciaran McEneaney, a gambling industry analyst with extensive experience in the sports-betting, gambling, poker, and casino industry. The analyst emphasized the significance of the developments within Star Entertainment Group and their potential impact on the gambling industry.

The government’s decision to grant an extension and the approval of the remediation plan reflect the ongoing efforts to ensure the responsible and compliant operation of casinos in Queensland. Through the appointment of a special manager and the enforcement of the remediation plan, authorities aim to maintain strict oversight and uphold the integrity of the gambling industry.