Star associate linked to crime in Qld

Queensland’s attorney-general has urged anyone with concerns about Star Entertainment to refer them to an inquiry, after media reports linked a key shareholder in its Brisbane casino development with Chinese crime figures.

Star is under intense scrutiny after money laundering allegations and organised crime links emerged in a recent NSW inquiry into its Sydney casino.

A Queensland inquiry into the gambling giant’s suitability to hold a casino licence in the state is set to hear from witnesses from Tuesday.

The ABC reports Hong Kong firm Chow Tai Fook, which received state government approval to take a stake in Star’s $3.6 billion Queens Wharf development in Brisbane, has links to notorious Chinese organised crime.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman says any allegations involving the gambling giant or 핑카지노 its associates should be examined by the inquiry, which is being led by Court of Appeal Judge Robert Gotterson.

“We are absolutely committed to ensuring Queensland casinos operate lawfully and in a way that maintains high standards of integrity and public confidence,” Ms Fentiman told AAP in a statement on Monday.

“If anyone has any ongoing concerns about the Star or their associates such as Chow Tai Fook, I would encourage them to refer them to the independent review for consideration.”

Star Entertainment has refused to comment on the allegations.

“In the context of the public hearings commencing this week in connection with the review of The Star’s casino operations in Queensland …The Star does not consider it appropriate to comment at this time,” the company stated on the ASX.

The Palaszczuk cabinet in 2015 approved Chow Tai Fook for a stake in the casino and resort development at Queens Wharf, which is set to open next year.

The ABC reports the company is linked with Macau gambling boss Stanley Ho and has historic connections with Chinese triad organised crime syndicates.

Chow Tai Fook chairman Henry Cheng has a history of close business dealings with Ho, owning a 10 per cent stake and directorship of Ho’s Macau casino business SJM Holdings, the ABC reports.

Ho, who died in 2020, was widely known as the godfather of gambling in Macau and faced allegations of close ties to organised crime for decades.

Chow Tai Fook is understood to have been aware of the potential concerns, removing certain identities from its formal Queens Wharf bid amid concerns they would be unlikely to pass the Casino Control Act’s “fit and proper” test, reports claimed.

The Hong Kong company owns a 25 per cent share in the Queens Wharf casino and half the surrounding apartment towers, according to the ABC.

The Gotterson inquiry into Star starting on Tuesday will also examine whether patrons excluded in Sydney were able or even encouraged to gamble over the border.

Compliance with anti-money laundering responsibilities, relationships with VIPs and high rollers, and dealing with junket operators will also be investigated.

Public hearings begin on Tuesday with the review to report to the attorney-general by September 30.

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