Casino faces major class action after money laundering allegations revealed

Angie RaphaelNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: Supplied

Star Entertainment Group shareholders are forming a class action after alleged inadequacies were exposed in the casino’s systems related to the management of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing risks.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers is preparing the legal battle after a KPMG audit report from 2018 warned the Star’s board there was “inadequate resourcing” and its risk assessment system did not consider terrorism financing as required by the Act.

The report also outlined higher risk areas, such as junket tours for high-rollers.

Maurice Blackburn principal Vavaa Mawuli said the class action would allege Star engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct, breached its disclosure obligations and conducted affairs contrary to the interests of members.

“Shareholders rightfully expect casino operators to rigorously comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws because casinos are unmistakably targets for criminal activity,” Ms Mawuli said in a statement on Monday.

Man plays poker in the casino
Camera IconThe Star Entertainment Group is facing a major class action involving shareholders. Photo: iStock Credit: Supplied

“Shareholders had a right to expect open and transparent information from Star. Instead, they got a crooked crap game.

“The fact that these concerns were raised in 2018 and not disclosed to the market raises real concerns about Star’s governance and shareholders should be rightfully concerned.”

Ms Mawuli said anti-money laundering laws were designed to promote public confidence.

“Investors are entitled to expect gaming companies to engage in best practice,” she said.

“That doesn’t appear to have occurred at Star.”

Last week, Star’s share price dropped almost 23 per cent, reportedly wiping out almost $1bn off its market value.

In a one-line statement, a Star spokesperson said the company was “not aware of any proceedings having been filed”.

Maurice Blackburn is separately conducting two other cases against Crown over similar allegations.

Originally published as Casino faces major class action after money laundering allegations revealed

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