Star Sydney Fined $60K, Served Woman 12 Drinks in Four Hours

Posted on: January 29, 2024, 11:13h. 

Last updated on: January 29, 2024, 12:01h.

The Star Sydney in New South Wales (NSW) has been slapped with a fine for overserving a female patron alcoholic drinks.

Star Sydney casino Australia
The Star Sydney has been fined for overserving alcoholic beverages to a female guest. The incident is the latest black eye on the Australian casino giant. (Image: The Star Sydney)

NSW’s Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority fielded a complaint earlier this month about The Star Sydney allegedly serving a 44-year-old woman at least 12 alcoholic drinks in less than four hours.

The woman became inebriated, vomited on herself, and was put in a wheelchair and escorted to a VIP area of the casino floor for evaluation and monitoring.

A probe of the incident determined that Star Sydney waitstaff continued to serve the woman booze despite her showing signs of severe intoxication. The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority revealed its findings to the NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC), which last week issued the casino an A$60,000 (US$39,562) fine for the regulatory infraction.

Latest Fine Against Star

Star Entertainment Group, the parent company to The Star Sydney, The Star Gold Coast, and Treasury Casino, remains on damage control following a multiyear investigation of its anti-money laundering safeguards.

Australian government inquiries determined that Star failed to adequately protect its casinos from criminals using it to launder dirty money. The probes also found that Star casinos engaged in fraud by trying to evade taxes by concealing money as expenses.

“The report is, quite frankly, shocking,” NSW Independent Casino Chief Commissioner Philip Crawford said in 2022 after the Bell inquiry findings were made public. “It provides evidence of an extensive compliance breakdown in key areas. Not only were huge amounts of money disguised by the casino as hotel expenses, but vast sums of cash evaded anti-money laundering protocols in numerous situations.”

While The Star was found unsuitable to retain its casino licenses — and ordered to pay an A$100 million fine — the government agreed to place the company on probation and allow it to update and strengthen its regulatory processes to achieve compliance. The serving of 12 alcoholic drinks to a woman in less than four hours might demonstrate the casino operator has a ways to go.

Responsible Alcohol Service Critical

The NSW Liquor & Gaming agency welcomed The Star Sydney fine for the alcohol violation.

Liquor & Gaming NSW considers the responsible service of alcohol to be a key obligation of all licensees including casino operators. We welcome the NICC’s substantial penalty that signals the seriousness of this breach,” the regulator said.

The Star Sydney is bringing in a new leader to run the place. Last week, the casino announced the appointment of Janelle Campbell as the resort’s new chief executive officer.

Campbell was previously the senior vice president of finance at Melco Resorts, one of the six casino operators in Macau.

“I look forward to working with Janelle on our ongoing transformation program at The Star Sydney as we pursue our number one objective of returning our Sydney casino to suitability,” said Star Entertainment Group CEO Robbie Cooke. “Janelle has strong leadership skills, with experience in overseeing large-scale operations managing teams of up to 1,200, and a great track record in developing and implementing strategic business plans.”