In a significant development, The Star Sydney has reinstated its practice of serving complimentary alcoholic beverages to high rollers casino players, as reported recently. This decision comes after extensive discussions with the NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC). Initially halted due to a government inquiry, the resumption of free alcohol service for VIP patrons comes with certain conditions in line with the NICC’s recommendations. This article delves into the details of this development, NICC’s conditional approval, ongoing monitoring, and The Star’s commitment to compliance, all against the backdrop of the company’s recent financial results and efforts to enhance responsible gambling measures.
NICC’s Conditional Approval
Initially, The Star voluntarily ceased offering free alcohol to visitors in response to a government inquiry. However, The Star made multiple requests to the NICC to reinstate this service, and the latest report suggests that the Commission did not oppose the return, albeit with certain conditions.
Free Alcohol Monitoring and Compliance
Although the provision of complimentary alcoholic beverages has been reinstated exclusively for VIP customers, it is important to note that this service continues to be limited to specific areas. This stance is in accordance with the directives of the NICC. The Commission clarified its position, stating, “The Star voluntarily discontinued the provision of free alcoholic beverages to patrons after the release of the Bell Report. However, subsequent to multiple requests from The Star, the NICC has not opposed the reinstatement of this service under specific conditions.”
The NICC has emphasized its intent to monitor this matter in the coming months and has reminded gambling operators to adhere to established regulations.
Financial Results and Policy Commitment
This development follows The Star’s recent release of its FY23 financial results, which revealed a statutory net loss of AU$2.44 billion ($1.57 billion). Despite the challenges, the company remains committed to bolstering its anti-money laundering and responsible gambling measures, including appointing new Board members.
Robbie Cooke, The Star’s group CEO and managing director, acknowledged the past year’s difficulties while emphasizing the importance of these policy changes in safeguarding the livelihoods of thousands of employees.