Qld govt won't expand Star casino probe

·2-min read

The Queensland government has refused to widen an inquiry into Star Entertainment to include other casino operators being investigated by regulators.

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation has been probing allegations involving the Ville Casino in Townsville for six months, and The Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns for five months.

Those investigations were only revealed after a public inquiry into Star Entertainment's suitability to hold a casino licence, led by retired justice Robert Gotterson, concluded on Monday.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman has refused to broaden the Star inquiry to include the two other casino operators, saying it's already broader than the Bell inquiry, which probed Star in NSW.

She expects Mr Gotterson and counsel assisting Jonathan Horton QC to advise the government on how to strengthen laws for all casino venues in Queensland.

"They have already flagged in the opening and in the closing submissions about further reform for the regulator and for the entire Queensland casinos," Ms Fentiman told parliament on Wednesday.

"The terms of reference are very broad, I think we have two very experienced people leading this independent external review, it has all of the powers under the Casino Control Act, of a Commission of Inquiry ... and they will leave no stone unturned."

Meanwhile, the regulator said that it would consider action in response to Star acting chief executive Geoff Hogg admitted the company hadn't been fully upfront about their application to change transaction rules in 2016.

Star didn't tell the OGLR it was changing its rules in 2016 to hide $55 million in gambling purchases using China UnionPay cards, which the lender forbids.

"A final determination on this matter will be made after the Review has reported to the Attorney-General," a spokesperson told AAP on Wednesday.

"Broader systemic governance issues will be considered by the Review under Part B of its Terms of Reference which relates to the ongoing suitability of The Star's Queensland licensees."

The regulator also said a joint probe with Queensland police and federal regulators of Star's due diligence and exclusion policies, launched in October, is still ongoing.

The OGLR will finalise that probe "including a determination on any offences" after the Gotterson inquiry's final report is handed down on September 30.

"Informed by advice from the review, OLGR will also finalise suitability investigations relating to The Star's Queensland licensees," the spokesperson said.

"The work of each regulatory body relating to the operations of The Star's Queensland casinos is undertaken in line with their relevant jurisdiction and regulatory responsibilities."