Home » Sydney’s Star Casino will face second inquiry less than two years after damning report

Sydney’s Star Casino will face second inquiry less than two years after damning report

Sydney’s Star Casino will face a second inquiry, less than two years after a damning report found it was unfit to hold a casino licence.

The NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) has asked Adam Bell SC to conduct the inquiry, saying it was not satisfied the casino had done enough to address its failings.

Mr Bell’s first report, which was issued in 2022, found evidence that money laundering, criminal infiltration and large scale fraud had been allowed to occur at the Star in Sydney.

The NICC’s Chief Commissioner Philip Crawford said this inquiry will examine whether the Star has made the “deep structural change” needed to be suitable to hold a licence.

Philip Crawford said the casino commission had “concerns” about Star Casino’s reform agenda.(AAP: Paul Braven)

“There was a substantial shift required and The Star has had 18 months to demonstrate that it has the capability and resources to regain its casino licence,” Mr Crawford said.

He said when Star manager Mr Nicholas Weeks’ term was extended for the second time in December last year, the NICC was not satisfied it was progressing “in a timely fashion.”

“The NICC has had concerns about the extent that remediation is attributable to the manager’s oversight and direction, versus what is being driven by the Star’s reform agenda,” Mr Crawford said.

“Bell Two will bring us back to the Bell Report and The Star’s efforts to regain its casino licence in the shadow of that report,” he said.

Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris said he would not comment further until the outcome of the review was known.

“The NSW Government is committed to a casino industry that is safe, responsible and operating with the highest standards of integrity,” he said.

The announcement comes just a day before The Star was due to deliver its half-yearly results, and its shares have been now been placed in a trading halt on the ASX.

The inquiry will run for about 15 weeks, with the final report due on 31st May.

Since being stripped of its NSW casino licence, The Star has replaced its board and most of its executive team.