The Supreme Court of Victoria.
Source: Supreme Court VIC
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  • Star Entertainment (SGR) hit with a class action lawsuit over allegations that the gambling and entertainment company failed to comply with disclosure requirements amid a public inquiry into its casino operations in Sydney
  • The lawsuit claims Star Entertainment had engaged in “misleading or deceptive conduct” between March 29, 2016 and March 16, 2022 about its systems, controls, operations and regulatory risks in Australia
  • Melbourne-based law firm Slater & Gordon is bringing the class action to the Supreme Court of Victoria, said investors had a strong case to recover their losses
  • Star Entertainment says it “intends to defend the proceedings”
  • SGR shares fell a further 1.84 per cent on market close, trading at $3.20 each

Star Entertainment (SGR) has been hit with a class action lawsuit over allegations that the gambling and entertainment company failed to comply with disclosure requirements amid a public inquiry into its casino operations in Sydney.

The company said in its press statement that the lawsuit claimed Star Entertainment had engaged in “misleading or deceptive conduct” between March 29, 2016 and March 16, 2022 about its systems, controls, operations and regulatory risks in Australia.

Investors are seeking compensation for misleading or deceptive representations that Star made about its compliance with regulatory obligations.

Their lawsuit comes during a royal commission-style public inquiry into Star’s fitness to hold its casino licence in Sydney, after media reports of “suspected money laundering (and) organised crime”. 

The class action alleges Star led investors to believe the group was a model casino operator when, in reality, it was failing to mitigate corruption, money laundering and bribery. 

Melbourne-based law firm Slater & Gordon is bringing the class action to the Supreme Court of Victoria, said investors had a strong case to recover their losses.

“When investors purchase shares in a listed company, they are entitled to assume that all of the material information relevant to its financial position had been disclosed to the market,” class actions senior associate Ben Zocco said. 

“Star insisted that it took compliance seriously and ran its business ethically, honestly and with integrity. Our investigations, to date, in addition to the extraordinary evidence revealed so far in the [inquiry], suggests that they did everything but.” 

This announcement follows after Matt Bekier, CEO and MD of Star Entertainment resigned from the company effective immediately, claiming he wanted to take “responsibility” about the misconduct uncovered at the inquiry.

Senior Counsel Adam Bell, who is leading the inquiry, has so far heard evidence that a secret junket room was set up at the casino, with senior managers turning a blind eye to money laundering risks and misleading the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and the National Australia Bank. 

On March 28, the inquiry was told Star Casino used the bank account of a junket operator to accept payments from gamblers who had money in China. 

Star Entertainment, whose shares have dropped more than 25 per cent so far this year and wiped more than $1 billion from the company’s value, said it “intends to defend the proceedings”.

SGR shares fell a further 1.84 per cent on market close, trading at $3.20 each.

SGR by the numbers
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