Australias Star Entertainment Group reaches agreement with NSW regulator to cease junket operations

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The Star Sydney

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Star Entertainment Group has joined its Australian rival Crown Resorts in agreeing to cease all work with junket operators in the state of New South Wales.

The agreement was revealed on Thursday by the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) at a press conference in Sydney at which Chairman Philip Crawford provided an update on new agreements the Authority has reached with Crown. Those agreements, part of efforts by Crown to overturn a recent finding that it was unsuitable to retain its NSW casino license, include an undertaking that it will no longer work with international junket operators.

However, ILGA also revealed it has reached a similar agreement with Star, operator of The Star Sydney.

Star declined to comment when contacted by IAGbut confirmed it was no longer working with junkets.

NSW becomes the second Australian state to implement a junket ban after the Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia (GWC), which oversees Crown Perth, outlined similar plans in February.

New Zealands SkyCity Entertainment Group announced last month it would permanently cease all dealings with junket operators and bring its international VIP operations in-house following a strategic review into the companys International Business division.

Asked Thursday about how the absence of junkets might impact the feasibility of Crowns AU$2.2 billion Crown Sydney development, which has been billed as a high rollers casino, Crawford said, My understanding from Helen Coonan is that theyve scrapped their VIP program completely and how theyre going to survive without international guests, thats a business plan issue that is not my purview.

Their restaurants and bars are open and people tell me theyre booming but theyve got their own business model, theyre doing their own numbers and theyll have to assess that as theyre going forward. My understanding is that the VIP program Crown had is gone.