According to ABC News, the Queensland Government is looking into “serious” allegations of an illegal junket operation at The Ville Casino and Resort in Townsville.
In order to attract high rollers to the Townsville casino, the Ville allegedly paid an illegal junket operator in cash and loyalty points.
The state government acknowledged the gravity of the allegations and announced that an investigation by the Office of Liquor and Gambling Regulation is currently underway.
The allegations also include the Cairns Reef Hotel Casino. The Ville, on the other hand, has stated that the casino operated legally and that the report contained factual errors.
The investigation is taking place in the midst of an investigation into The Star Entertainment Group’s Queensland casinos, The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane. The investigation, led by former Court of Appeal judge Robert Gotterson, is looking into junket operations, as well as VIP patrons and high rollers.
Last week, the inquiry’s public hearings heard that “one of the top ten table players” at the group’s Gold Coast venue had been barred from casinos in two other states by police.
According to the evidence presented at the hearing, the patron was barred from a Melbourne casino in December 2014 and a New South Wales venue in 2015, but was not given a group-wide license withdrawal until January 2021.
The operator also admitted that it lied to Queensland regulators when it changed a policy to conceal AU$55 million (US$38.4 million) in prohibited gambling transactions from a Chinese bank.
The Star is currently constructing its Queen’s Wharf casino, a multibillion-dollar development in Brisbane’s CBD set to open in 2023.