Further to the announcement of 9 December 2022 in relation to the disciplinary action and appointment of the Special Manager to monitor the operations of Treasury Brisbane and The Star Gold Coast, The Star Entertainment Group Limited (The Star) provided the following update.
Approval of Remediation Plan in Queensland
As previously disclosed, The Star submitted a draft Remediation Plan (Remediation Plan) to the relevant Queensland regulatory authorities, designed to address the issues identified by the Bell and Gotterson reviews. The Remediation Plan includes approximately 640 milestones across 15 workstreams to be implemented over a multi-year period.
The Star has been advised that the Attorney-General of Queensland, the Honourable Yvette D’Ath MP, has approved the Remediation Plan, as applying to the casino entities for The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane casinos.
Extension of Deferred Suspension of Casino Licences and Special Manager Appointment
Following this decision, The Star has also been advised that, on the recommendation of the Attorney-General, the Governor-in-Council has approved:
- changing the date of effect of the 90-day casino licence suspensions for The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane casinos from 1 December 2023 (the originally determined date) to 31 May 2024; and
- extending the term of the Special Manager for The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane casinos by 12 months to 8 December 2024.
Accordingly, The Star will be required, prior to 31 May 2024 when the deferred suspensions would otherwise take effect, to demonstrate to the Queensland Government, that it is delivering upon the approved Remediation Plan and returning to suitability.
The Star’s Group CEO and Managing Director, Robbie Cooke, said:
“We’re pleased to have our Remediation Plan approved in Queensland.
It’s an important step on our path to returning to suitability in Queensland and will track and hold us accountable throughout the multi-year program we are committed to delivering.
At the same time, we are fully aware that successful implementation of the Remediation Plan will require the utmost rigour and discipline.
We need to regain the trust and confidence of all our stakeholders and communities and continue to have an unwavering focus on transformation.
That comes from a clear understanding that holding casino licences is a privilege, not a right.”
These decisions relate only to The Star’s Queensland operations. The Star is continuing to engage with the New South Wales Independent Casino Commission in relation to its Sydney operations and will make a separate announcement in relation to the position in New South Wales.
Supercars Partners with Dabble
Supercars has entered into a partnership with Dabble, an Australian betting operator with a social-first sports betting app. Dabble will become the Official and Exclusive Wagering Partner of the Repco Supercars Championship.
The new partnership solidifies Dabble’s commitment to the sports betting landscape, offering a unique platform that combines the thrill of sports wagering with social interaction.
Jamie Black, General Manager of Commercial at Supercars, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Dabble to the Supercars family as our Official and Exclusive Sports Wagering Partner.
“Dabble’s innovative approach to sports betting aligns perfectly with our vision of engaging fans and creating memorable experiences.
“Together, we look forward to delivering exciting content and enhancing the fan experience across what promises to be a thrilling 2024 championship.”
Dabble allows users to view and copy bets made by friends, ex-athletes and other users, and the “Banter” chat feature allows the community to engage on a particular sport or event in real-time.
Tom Rundle, CEO of Dabble, said: “Joining forces with Supercars represents an incredible opportunity for Dabble to connect with a passionate fanbase and further establish ourselves as a leading player in the sports wagering industry.
“We’re excited to introduce Supercars fans to the Dabble community and provide them with a unique and immersive betting experience.
“Along with industry-leading social capabilities, Dabble prides itself on its fast withdrawals feature and being one of the fastest apps on the sports betting market. It is only natural for us to partner with the fastest sport in Australia, making the perfect match for the adrenaline-fueled world of Supercars.”
The Supercars and Dabble partnership has already kicked off, with markets now open for the Thrifty Bathurst 500.
Star Entertainment Announces Jobs Guarantee & Cashless Gaming Trial Agreements in NSW
The Star Entertainment Group Limited (The Star) announced that it has entered into binding documentation to give effect to the previously announced aspects of the arrangements agreed in principle with the NSW Treasurer, The Honourable Daniel Mookhey MLC, in connection with the revised duty arrangements in NSW, namely a jobs commitment and the cashless and carded play trial in respect of The Star Sydney casino.
NSW Jobs Guarantee
Consistent with the in-principle agreement first announced on 11 August 2023, The Star has entered into a Jobs Guarantee Agreement with the State of NSW and the United Workers Union whereby The Star has agreed to maintain a minimum headcount, and certain ratios of full-time, part-time and casual employees, in respect of The Star Sydney casino until 30 June 2030. The jobs commitment is subject to certain permitted adjustments in certain circumstances (including for force majeure and material adverse change events) following consultation with the NSW government and the United Workers Union.
Following amendments to the Casino Control Act 1992 (NSW) in December 2023, certain penalties can apply to The Star for failing to comply with the jobs commitment. A copy of the Jobs Guarantee Agreement must be tabled in NSW Parliament within 10 business days following entry into the agreement.
Cashless and Carded Play Trial
The Star has also entered into documentation to give effect to a formal trial of cashless and carded play at The Star Sydney casino.
The trial is a precursor to reforms to the NSW regulatory framework which will see cashless gaming and carded play introduced to NSW casinos from August 2024.
Subject to the receipt of final regulatory approvals, the trial will apply to 51 poker machines and 8 table games within the “Sovereign Room” at The Star Sydney casino until the regulatory framework comes into effect.
The Star’s Group CEO and Managing Director, Robbie Cooke, said: “The Star appreciates the constructive engagement with the current NSW Government that has led to finalisation of an agreement that provides employment certainty for our dedicated and hard-working team members in Sydney. As we continue to focus on earning back the trust of the community and implementing the reforms required to restore The Star to suitability, we are also committed to the continuation of our role as a valuable contributor to the NSW economy.”
ACMA Blocks More Illegal Gambling Websites
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has requested the Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to block 12 more illegal gambling websites, after investigations found these services to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.
The latest sites blocked are Playzilla, Wazamba, Zet Casino, Slots Palace, Nomini, Casinia, SG Casino, Fez Bet, Buran Casino, Spin Better, Golden Bet and Clash.gg.
Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal gambling services. This action can be taken if a service is:
- providing prohibited interactive gambling services to customers in Australia (such as online casinos, online slot machines and services that allow in-play online sports betting)
- providing an unlicensed regulated interactive gambling service to customers in Australia (such as online betting services that don’t have a valid Australian licence)
- publishing ads for prohibited interactive gambling services or unlicensed regulated interactive gambling services in Australia.
Since the ACMA made its first blocking request in November 2019, 926 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked. Over 220 illegal services have also pulled out of the Australian market since the ACMA started enforcing illegal offshore gambling rules.
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