Star Sydney Casino CCTV Footage Reveals Money Laundering Concerns

08:19
30 Mar

The Star Sydney Casino is under fire after CCTV footage from 2018 showed a Macau-based junket operator placing stacks of cash into bags. An inquiry revealed that gambling tour operator Suncity was allowed to run a private salon in the casino despite strong evidence that money laundering was taking place.

Star Entertainment Group CEO Matt Bekier was found to have misled journalists, telling them that the private room was shut by mutual agreement when it was simply moved to another area in the casino without any branding.

Initially, in 2016, it was agreed that the room would be laid on only on the condition that all chips were purchased from the casino’s cage. Now multiple CCTV recordings have shown that this wasn’t happening in all cases with clear evidence of suitcases and backpacks full of cash being taken into the room.

Hong Kong-based Suncity has brought some of the richest people in China to gamble in Australia where millions of dollars are being handed over every hour, but this relationship soured after The Age and the Herald reported links to organised crime in 2019, although it didn’t cease immediately.

During the inquiry hearing Commissioner Adam Bell SC, leading the license review, asked Star Entertainment Group’s due diligence group manager, Angus Buchanan:

“Was one of your concerns that from the evidence you’d seen it appeared at least on occasions in 2018 an organisation with links to the Triads had been running a casino within a casino?” Buchanan replied: “I agree that was my concern, that was evident from the footage we viewed earlier and the documentation I’d read.” He also added that he agrees stronger action should have been taken against the activities of Suncity after assisting counsel Naomi Sharp SC asked if the whole arrangement should have been cancelled once the CCTV footage came to light.

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