Star Flags drop in turnover at Sydney Casino

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Australia’s second-largest casino operator said Tuesday revenue at its Sydney casino fell 11 percent from pre-COVID levels in the period July 1 to November 15.

However, casino revenue in Brisbane and Gold Coast rose 9 percent and 32 percent, respectively, from pre-COVID levels.

“Our Queensland casinos are performing strongly, while Sydney has been impacted by post-Bell Review compliance changes and some competitive implications,” newly appointed chief executive Robbie Cooke told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting.

The group’s total domestic revenue rose 1 percent from pre-COVID levels during the period, he said.

Star was the latest casino operator in Australia to fall out of favor with regulators.

Last month, the NSW casino regulator took the unprecedented step of suspending Star’s Sydney casino license and slapping the company with a record $100 million fine after an investigation uncovered a litany of compliance breaches, including ties to notorious gang operators and Chinese debit card transactions are disguised as hotel spending.

The Pyrmont venue continues to operate under a license owned by Nick Weeks, a government appointed manager.

A similar review in Queensland ruled Star unfit to hold its two casino licenses in the state after finding the company neglecting its anti-money laundering and responsible gaming obligations and intentionally misleading regulators in pursuit of profit would have.

“Our current expectation is that FY23 remediation costs will be between $35 million and $45 million — about 50 percent of which is expected to be recurring costs after FY24,” Mr Cooke told shareholders on Tuesday.

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