A year ago, the Independent Casino Commission of New South Wales (NSW) slapped Star Entertainment Group with a monetary penalty of AU$100 million. The fine was unveiled as a result of a state inquiry that found that the casino giant breached a number of gambling rules and regulations linked to money laundering and other criminal activity.
Now, a little over a year since the Royal Commission inquiry found Star Entertainment Group unfit to hold a gambling licence, and the chief commissioner of the NSW Independent Casino Commission – Philip Crawford – described the institutional arrogance as breathtaking, the State Government has finally settled on a decision how to allocate the AU$100 million in penalty proceeds.
The beginning of the week saw David Harris, the Minister for Gaming and Racing of New South Wales, announce that the State Government had decided to invest the fine received by Star Entertainment Group into programmes aimed at tackling gambling-related harm over the next five years.
As revealed by Mr Harris in his statement, the initial capital investment involves an AU$21.7-million injection for the Office of Responsible Gaming that will be used to fund various reforms and and initiatives focused on gambling harm minimization efforts. Furthermore, the body is set to receive another AU$10 million to bolster its support and counselling services. Reportedly, AU$6.4 million will be allocated as funding to self-exclusion programmes aimed especially at gaming clubs and pubs.
A further AU$3.4 million is set to be granted to the Independent Casino Commission, especially for the execution of the planned cashless gambling trial, one of the most recent initiatives of the NSW Government as part of its efforts to reduce unlawful activities in the state, such as money laundering.
Australia Remains One of the Biggest Gambling Nations Worldwide
As previously reported by Casino Guardian, although the investigation found Star Entertainment unsuitable to hold a gambling licence and the NSW Independent Casino Commission handed out an AU$100-million monetary penalty, the gambling and casino giant was still allowed to retain its operating permit. In order to do so, however, Star Entertainment agreed to a series of terms, including a complete overhaul of its regulatory standards and procedures and external monitoring and supervision.
Currently, the company owns and operates The Star Sydney in the state of New South Wales. The gambling giant also controls three casinos in Queensland – The Star Gold Coast, The Star Brisbane, and Treasury Casino.
Australia has been known as a nation of gamblers, not to mention the fact that it has one of the richest and most widespread gambling sectors on a global scale. According to reports, in 2022 casinos and other gambling businesses generated gross income of about AU$18 million, which accounts for more than AU$1,300 spent per adult resident of the country.
Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.