Despite rumours of links to the underworld, the Star Entertainment Group is still working with the Suncity Group. A hearing has so far proven inconclusive.
Allegations of Suncity Group’s links with underworld criminals haven’t changed the Star Entertainment Group’s mind about its partnership with the Asian junket firm. The Australian casino operator’s chief casino officer, Greg Hawkins confirmed the relationship between his company and the junket during a hearing in New South Wales.
The hearing forms part of the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority’s investigation into its casino industry. Hawkins said he didn’t know much about organised crime in Asia. He added he was aware of allegations regarding Suncity Group’s links to criminal groups but doubted them.
Operator Orders Internal Investigation
Hawkins said that, even though the partnership between the operator and the junket firm continues, the group closed the junket’s private VIP gaming room at the Star Sydney property. He claimed that the group made the decision after junket owner Alvin Chau was prevented from entering Australia.
The Department of Home Affairs barred Chau’s entry due to his suspected links with figures involved in organised crime. He’s also a suspected former member of the Macau-based 14K Triad group.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the closure of the private gaming room was not the end of it. Hawkins later admitted the room was moved to another location before the internal anti-money laundering compliance team investigated.
The investigation is part of the group’s assessment of its partnership with the junket. The Suncity Group helps wealthy Chinese gamblers travel to Australian casinos, where they gamble with pre-arranged credit.
Crown Resorts And The Junket
The Star Entertainment Group is not the only Australian casino operator to have dealings with the Suncity Group. The junket also has a private room at the Crown Melbourne.
Crown Resorts Limited reportedly stopped the junket from operating a cash desk when banknotes worth $4 million were found in the VIP gaming room. When questioned, Hawkins claimed the junket is not able to do that at his company’s properties. He stated that all players must purchase chips at the venues’ official cashiers, thus the claims were unfounded.