Third Operator in Australia Allegedly Breached Gambling Laws, Says Report

Third Operator in Australia Allegedly Breached Gambling Laws, Says Report

Amid the growing concerns for money laundering and breaches of gambling regulations in Australia, another operator faces a legal hurdle, a new report reveals.

Reef Hotel Casino Allegedly Breached Queensland’s Casino Control Act

This time, the operator that allegedly breached the gambling rules is located in Cairns, Queensland. According to a recent report released by ABC News, the Reef Hotel Casino may plead guilty to breaching the state’s Casino Control Act.

The recent announcement comes after the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) filed charges against Reef Corporate Services Ltd. Allegedly, the licensee engaged with junkets, which collected profits from the money gambled at the Reef Hotel Casino.

Under the current Casino Control Act in effect for Queensland, gambling licensees are not allowed to engage in activities or agreements that facilitate the return of money or interest for gambled money. Any such agreements must be approved by the Minister for Liquor and Gaming prior to commencing.

Third Company to Face Probe by Regulators over Alleged Breaches

The latest report reveals that it is likely for Reef Corporate Services to plead guilty to the breach. However, this likely wouldn’t worry the operator much, considering that the maximum financial penalty which can be applied for such a breach is set at AU$5,750 ($3,714). The next chapter in this legal hurdle is expected in December when a sentencing hearing is set for the case.

The Reef Hotel Casino is the third operator to face investigations over allegations of breaching the gambling regulations in Australia. Previously, regulators in the country probed into the operations of the Star Entertainment and Crown Resorts over suspicions of money laundering, as well as links to Chinese junket operators.

Junkets: Middlemen That Benefit from Gambled Money

Junket operators offer a service that helps gambling venues attract wealthy businessmen, typically from China. Those operators offer to help arrange accommodation and benefit from interest in the money gambled by their customers. Known as middlemen, junkets used to collect significant profits not only in Australia but Macau as well.

However, different global jurisdictions noticed the activity and initiated crackdowns. In China, the crack down on junkets began with the arrest of Suncity Group CEO Alvin Chau. Consequently, this led to a country-wide fight against junkets. As a result, gambling operators decided to discontinue the activity to avoid sanctions or more serious penalties such as license revocation.