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Star Manager Says Superiors Tolerated Gambling/Housing Expense System


The public inquiry conducted by the Independent Alcohol and Gaming Authority or ILGA had David Aloia former Star Casino regulator on the stand today, who shed light on how ownership has helped Chinese customers avoid detection and continue to gamble while writing off accommodation expenses at hotel rather than gambling expenses.

Star Sydney hearing continues with new allegations

According to the casino, the scheme was condoned by the company’s top brass and expressed personal disagreement with the arrangement which led to it swiping customers’ cards and hiding the nature of the transaction as hotel accommodation costs. This applied to visitors who used China Union Pay (CUP) which prohibits any use of cardholder funds for gambling purposes.

However, the workaround has been established in previous hearings, with Aloi now giving more details on how it worked. This follows news that Star Entertainment Group general manager and CEO Matt Bekier resigns, which demonstrates the company’s desire to fill its gaps and remedy the current situation. After Crown Resorts was given a two-year period to resolve its issues and return to fitness to hold a license.

Bekier’s action is aimed at mitigating the impact Star Casino would suffer and hopefully finding a better outcome to the public inquiry which has already revealed serious breaches of the country’s license code. In testimony to the commission and its chief, Adam Bell, Aloi argued that he and other staff were under pressure to “do it,” as superiors would say.

National Australia Bank (NAB) asked Aloi if the system was licensed. Aloi said some of his elders eased concerns by saying it was okay to cut spending on housing. They cited the use of EFTPOS terminals which are located in hotels, but Bell argued that EFTPOS serve a different purpose – they identify where the service is provided, but not the exact location of the terminal.

Star Sydney has long been tracked by regulators

Aloi confirmed that in 2021 he misled the commission by claiming that the responsible watchdog knew about the diversion of CUP funds from hotel accommodations to hotel expenses. Essentially, Aloi pointed the finger at the regulator, arguing that he hadn’t done his job. During questioning this morning, however, he admitted the regulator knew little about the rule breach – nothing at all.

CUP had been looking into the matter since 2019 but The Star stayed under the radar for quite some time. However, the CUP also contacted the NAB and ensured a clearer line of communication, which ultimately led to the differences. Last week, the investigation revealed that Star Sydney had allowed the Suncity group to operate an anonymous meeting room in secret, even after officially cutting ties in 2019.