An Australian regulator is going to sue eleven former and current Star executives. The lawsuit against Star executives will be for poorly managing the casino’s money-laundering risks. Also, it is the regulator’s first lawsuit against any casino after the release of the poor governance report in 2019. In addition, it is the first time the regulator has targeted board members.
Former chairman John O’Neill and former chief executive Matthias Bekier are among the board members of Star Entertainment named in the allegations made by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) between 2017 and 2019.
Sarah Court, ASIC’s Deputy Chair, stated that Star executives and board members failed to place adequate emphasis on money laundering risks.
ASIC claimed that Star’s Board endorsed the company’s growth of its contact with persons suspected of having criminal ties.
According to the agency, certain firm officials knowingly enabled inaccurate representations submitted to National Australia Bank. Allegedly, Star’s comments hid the fact that it allowed China Union Pay cards for gambling. It was against the terms and conditions set by the card issuer.
In a statement, Star claimed that neither it nor its affiliates were part of the litigation. However, when software sportsbook sources asked for the names and numbers of those indicted by ASIC, it refused.
In recent years, the regulatory environment for Australia’s gambling sector has been tense. According to a bookie pay per head directory, people criticized the country’s largest casino operators for ignoring anti-money-laundering regulations, having dysfunctional governance structures, and fostering a negative corporate culture.
According to an online bookie software expert, Star Entertainment was fined a total of A$100 million ($67 million) by the Queensland government last week. Also, the state has agreed to delay suspending the company’s activities there in exchange for more oversight.
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