Investors of The Star Entertainment Group have filed a class-action lawsuit against the casino company. It comes with The Star currently under scrutiny from a public inquiry into operations at its Sydney casino.
Star masqueraded as an upstanding casino operator
Investors want compensation for supposedly deceptive or misleading representations the casino company made regarding its regulatory compliance. The lawsuit alleges Star masqueraded as an upstanding casino operator while not properly mitigating against money laundering, corruption, and even bribery. These issues allegedly took place between March 2016 and March 2022.
The Star released a statement on Wednesday in response to the filing of the class-action lawsuit, outlining that it plans to defend itself.
Playing a role
People who invest in a publicly-traded company have an entitlement to assume that it has disclosed all relevant information of material impact. Star has long maintained that it is compliant and runs an honest business, but a New South Wales inquiry has suggested this may not be the case.
money laundering issues along with links to organized crime
Many concerning issues have come to light amid the ongoing New South Wales Independent Liquor Gaming Authority inquiry. It began last year after media reports suggested Star’s Sydney casino had money laundering issues along with links to organized crime.
Following the publication of these rumors, The Star’s share price plummeted by over 25%. Slater and Gordon, the law firm representing the investors in the Supreme Court of Victoria case, believes investors have a strong case to recover those losses.
Revelations from the inquiry
Commissioner Adam Bell SC is leading the public inquiry into whether The Star is suitable to hold a casino license in Sydney. The public hearings began last week and have already uncovered plenty of evidence to date.
One startling revelation suggested senior management at the Star Sydney allowed a secret junket room to operate on the property. CCTV footage shows blatant breaches of anti-money laundering rules, with a junket employee shown stuffing bags full of cash.
Some of the company’s casinos across Australia also supposedly helped to hide AU$900m (US$67.5m) worth of Chinese gambling transactions from banks. The operator categorized money coming from Chinese gamblers’ debit cards as hotel expenses.
The inquiry is still ongoing.