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June 14, 2024
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Queensland Says CTFE Is Suitable to Be Associated with Star Entertainment

Queensland Says CTFE Is Suitable to Be Associated with Star Entertainment

The Queensland government has determined that Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE) is suitable to be associated with Star Entertainment Group’s Queen’s Wharf Brisbane property. The investigation into the matter came in the wake of Star Entertainment’s violations and apparent ties with Asian junket operators.

For context, Star Entertainment was previously found guilty of multiple AML violations and ties with influential Chinese agents. This included the Suncity Group and its now-imprisoned CEO Alvin Chau.

The past ties raised concerns about CTFE, considering that the Hong Kong-based conglomerate owns a 4.99% stake in Star Entertainment and a significant 25% stake in the company’s Queen’s Wharf Brisbane property.

In addition to its stake in Star Entertainment, CTFE also owns properties in the Bahamas and Vietnam. Its chairman, Henry Cheng, also holds a 10% stake in STDM.

In any case, the Queensland government was unable to find anything that would make CTFE unsuitable to be associated with Star Entertainment’s Queensland property.

CTFE Is Suitable, the Attorney-General Determined

Queensland’s attorney-general Yvette D’Ath said that the probe into CTFE’s business has been conducted over the 16 months leading to February 2024. According to her, the investigation was conducted by OLGR with the assistance of a third-party firm.

After what D’Ath called “considerable investigative work” into CTFE’s business and leadership, the investigation concluded that the Hong Kong-based company should be a suitable partner to Star’s property in Brisbane.

The attorney-general’s ultimate decision is that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that CTFE or its relevant associates are unsuitable.

Public statement on the suitability investigation

Queensland’s government added that the investigation was unable to confirm the allegations against CTFE. While the firm had previously dealt with a “person of poor repute,” the investigation could not find evidence to suggest that CTFE knew that the relevant person was a person of poor repute during the period of the association.

The attorney-general also learned that CTFE “lacked candor and fulsomeness” in several dealings with the OLGR. However, the attorney-general determined that this was “based on differences in cultural and organizational expectations” and not a deliberate concealment.

The attorney-general praised CTFE for its collaboration and desire to work with the regulator in the future. However, the attorney-general also warned that potential future failings may cause the Queensland government to reevaluate CTFE’s suitability to be associated with Star Entertainment’s Queens’ Wharf property.

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