Star Entertainment and NSW Government in Negotiations Over Casino Tax

Negotiations between Star Entertainment and the New South Wales (NSW) government regarding a proposed casino tax are reaching a critical stage as both parties strive to find a resolution.

Backlash Mounts Against Controversial Casino Tax Proposal

The tax proposal, however, has faced significant backlash from Star Entertainment, Sydney’s largest casino operator, as the company argues that it will place a strain on its finances and potentially result in job losses. The controversy surrounding the tax is further fueled by criticisms from the Labor Party, who have questioned the initial development of the tax by the Coalition.

To alleviate the financial pressure faced by Star Entertainment, the NSW government is considering deferring the tax rise and offering rebates for investments in building upgrades, reported The Australian Financial Review. Despite these discussions, Labor remains firm in its commitment to see through the tax increase, emphasizing the revenue it would generate for the state.

NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey has acknowledged the need to modify the controversial tax while preserving its essence. Mookhey has deemed the tax as “not properly developed” and acknowledged the concerns raised by Star Entertainment regarding the discrepancy in tax rates between NSW and Victoria. Treasury briefings have highlighted the lack of consultation with casinos before the announcement of the new duty rates, further adding to the controversy.

Treasurer Open to Reassessment as Star Entertainment Takes Drastic Measures

While ufa365 the Star Entertainment Group has expressed hopes for a reconsideration of the entire proposal, it appears that the options available might be limited to deferring the start date or exploring alternative measures.

The decision on how to proceed with the tax proposal presents a significant challenge for the new government, which also inherited a budget deficit. Additionally, public sentiment towards casinos has soured following inquiries into Star Entertainment and Crown Resorts, which revealed extensive wrongdoing and money laundering facilitation by international criminal groups.

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Acknowledging the concerns raised by Star Entertainment, Treasurer Mookhey has expressed a willingness to reassess the tax’s implementation. The company has already taken steps to mitigate financial pressures by cutting 500 jobs and seeking guidance from investment bank Barrenjoey.

Star Entertainment’s chief, Robbie Cooke, has questioned the basis of the government’s financial modelling and the claim that the company does not pay its fair share of taxes. Major shareholder Bruce Mathieson warned that the proposed tax hike could “nearly ruin” the casino group, adding to the urgency of finding a suitable solution. Amidst ongoing remediation efforts and potential fines for criminal activities and money laundering breaches, Star Entertainment’s stock has experienced a significant decline since the beginning of the year.