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Probe into Star's Qld operations wraps

    Star Entertainment must wait a month for the outcome of damning public hearings into the gambling giant’s Queensland operations.

    After three days of testimony in Brisbane, public hearings into Star’s suitability to hold a casino licence have concluded.

    Counsel assisting Jonathan Horton QC told the final day of submissions on Monday the casino operator had committed a raft of questionable operational errors.

    The inquiry was told that the casino repeatedly allowed banned high rollers to gamble at Queensland venues in breach of its exclusion policies.

    Star also ‘pursued’ high rollers to visit its Queensland operations, playing for them to travel by private jet and stay in luxury accommodation for free as banned southern players hit the tables in Queensland.

    Case studies outlined in the hearing revealed Star allowed patrons banned from casinos in NSW and Victoria, and linked to the Italian mafia, to gamble in its Queensland venues for years.

    One man became one of the top 10 players at the Star Gold Coast after being banned from Crown Melbourne in 2014 and The Star, Sydney, by NSW police seven months later.

    Another case study, Person 1, judi online terpercaya was banned from The Star Sydney in 2007 due to alleged involvement in criminal activities but gambled millions of dollars at the Gold Coast’s Star casino.

    Mr Horton said that of the 768 people banned from NSW casinos, 36 were later allowed to play the tables in Queensland.

    “On that topic, we say the errors placed in serious jeopardy the integrity of Queensland casino operations,” Mr Horton said.

    “The errors place in serious jeopardy the integrity of Queensland’s casino operations,” Mr Horton said.

    Counsel for Star Entertainment argued the company’s advice was it did not have grounds to ban interstate gamblers.

    “The understanding, based on legal advice at the time … was we could not use the NSW exclusion to justify a Queensland exclusion,” Gareth Beachem said.

    “The failure to immediately exclude somebody in Queensland was not based on some perception that there might have been better information around, but on the fact that the lawyers would say that that piece of evidence wasn’t admissible in court to use in Queensland to justify an exclusion.”

    Mr Beachem said that because the interstate ban was inadmissible, the onus fell on Star to “find some other evidence” to exclude patrons.

    Star’s anti-money laundering general manager says that person would have been banned under the company’s current policies.

    The probe also heard the casino operator allowed China UnionPay cardholders to withdraw cash to bet at its Brisbane and Gold Coast casinos but recorded those transactions as “hotel purchases” with National Australia Bank.

    Using debit cards for gambling isn’t illegal in Queensland, but the Chinese lender prohibits the practice.

    Judge Robert Gotterson will report to the attorney-general by September 30.

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