Star Entertainment Group fined $100 million over Queensland casino breaches, given 12 months to ‘get their house in order’

Star Entertainment Group has been hit with $100 million in fines and a special manager has been appointed to oversee its Queensland operations following “major failings” at its casinos.

The company has also been given 12 months to “get its house in order” or else have its Queensland casino licences temporarily suspended.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman announced the penalties on Friday — two months after she found the gambling giant unsuitable to hold a casino licence in the state in the wake of an independent review by former Court of Appeal judge Robert Gotterson.

“Today we are sending a very clear message that unlawful and criminal behaviour will not be tolerated in Queensland casinos,” she said.

Ms Fentiman said the penalties have been considered “very carefully” following the damning findings of the Gotterson review, as well as the responses from Star during the show-cause process.

“These disciplinary actions aim to strike a balance between ensuring that thousands of Queenslanders can remain employed, but also sending that very strong message that what happened here in Star casinos is completely unacceptable,” she said.

Shannon Fentiman speaks at a media conference in Brisbane
Ms Fentiman said Star has 12 months to “get their house in order”.(ABC News: Michael Lloyd)

Star has been given 12 months to pay the fines, which total $100 million.

Star Entertainment Group made $1.53 billion in the 2021-22 financial year.

The company’s casino licences – for Treasury Brisbane and The Star Gold Coast — will also be suspended for 90 days, however that action has been deferred until December 1, 2023.

“Essentially this means Star has 12 months to get their house in order if they don’t want to see a 90-day suspension of their licence,” Ms Fentiman said.

She said the delay will give Star an opportunity to remediate its management and operations, saying if it makes “satisfactory progress toward rectifying these issues” she and the special manager could decide to postpone or rescind the suspension.

Star is also a key backer of the $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf casino development, which is still under construction.

“The licence holder for Queen’s Wharf has not been issued a show cause because they’re not operational, but if Star are not suitable by the time they want to open their doors there will be significant conditions placed on their licence,” Ms Fentiman said.

Nicholas Weeks – who was installed by the NSW Independent Casino Commission as manager of Star’s casino licence in Sydney – has also been chosen as special manager in Queensland.