Star Entertainment faces class action amid Sydney casino probe

Australian regulation agency Slater and Gordon has filed a class action lawsuit towards Star Entertainment Group for what it calls “deceptive or misleading” representations relating to compliance with regulatory obligations.

The submitting, says Slater and Gordon, has been made on behalf of traders who acquired shares between March 29, 2016, and March, 16, 2022, who’re looking for compensation amid a value decline “by greater than 25 per cent, wiping greater than A$1bn from the corporate’s worth”.

This comes amid an Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority mandated public inquiry that’s assessing the group’s suitability to carry a Sydney casino licence. 

Thus far, damning revelations have been disclosed that reveal allegations that the group disguised A$900m of transactions, in addition to failures over junket oversight and anti-money launcher protocols. This has additionally led to the group’s former MD and CEO Matt Bekier tendering his resignation.

“For the final six years, Star has held itself out to be a mannequin casino operator that took its obligations critically and adopted not solely the letter of the regulation, however the spirit of the regulation,” commented Ben Zocco, Slater and Gordon Class Actions Senior Associate.

“Star insisted that it took compliance critically and ran its enterprise ethically, actually and with integrity. Our investigations so far, along with the extraordinary proof revealed to this point within the Bell Inquiry, means that they did every part however.

“When traders buy shares in a listed firm, they’re entitled to imagine that all the materials data related to its monetary place had been disclosed to the market.

“Our case is that Star failed to take action, and, subsequently, traders are entitled to compensation for his or her losses.”

The 108-page declare, filed within the Victorian Supreme Court, alleges that Star has “frequently held itself out as an moral and accountable casino operator that complied with its authorized and regulatory obligations”.

The case additionally asserts that Star’s representations about insurance policies being in place to mitigate dangers comparable to cash laundering, corruption, bribery, insider buying and selling, and restrictions on using playing merchandise, have been deceptive or misleading.

Lead plaintiff David Lynch expressed disappointment as seeing the worth of his shareholding plummet, and confused concern “that the corporate might have misled him and different shareholders”.

“As an investor, I count on that licensed operators which are publicly listed will function in accordance with the regulation, and that there are acceptable checks and balances to make sure they achieve this,” Lynch said.

“I’m dismayed by the obvious scale of Star’s misconduct that’s now being revealed within the public hearings.”

An ASX announcement made by the corporate in response to the class actions said that “The declare alleges The Star did not adjust to steady disclosure necessities and engaged in deceptive or misleading conduct between March 29, 2016, and March 16, 2022, by numerous alleged disclosures or non-disclosures about its methods, controls, operations and regulatory dangers. 

“The allegations reference the continuing ILGA inquiry and former media reporting. The Star intends to defend the proceedings.”

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