SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Australian state of Queensland announced on Tuesday an independent investigation into Star Entertainment Group’s ability to hold its casino license after allegations of money laundering in New South Wales.
Australia’s two largest casino companies, Crown Resorts and Star, are under intense scrutiny over allegations that they enabled breaches of anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism laws.
“The Office of Alcohol and Gaming Regulation’s investigations into The Star are ongoing, and they continue to work with Queensland Police and (Australia’s financial crime regulator),” said the Queensland Attorney General, Shannon Fentiman, in a statement.
Star did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company runs casinos in Brisbane, the state capital, and the popular tourist spot of Gold Coast, while it is a joint venture partner in a 3.6 billion Australian dollars (2.5 billion million) which is due to open next year in Brisbane.
An ongoing investigation in the state of New South Wales (NSW) found Star broke the law, while investigations in NSW, Victoria and Queensland found Crown also broke the law. The CEOs of both companies have dismissed the allegations raised in these investigations.
The terms of reference for the Queensland inquiry will be released after review by the state cabinet, Fentiman said.
($1 = 1.4422 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Renju Jose; editing by Stephen Coates)
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