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21 April 2012

Identity of The Star's casino whale gamblers suppressed - 21st April 2012

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Gambling Casinos The Star Echo Entertainment World Casino Directory


The identities of the Star casino's biggest international high-roller whales and their gambling histories have been suppressed by the Supreme Court after the casino's owner, Echo Entertainment, won an interim order prohibiting their publication.

The court also suppressed publication of reports by casino staff and government inspectors about alleged incidents at the Star.

The details were broadcast on Monday by the ABC's 7.30 program, which named the two biggest high-rollers and the amounts they have gambled, based on leaked information.

On Thursday, Echo Entertainment won a temporary injunction, forcing removal from the ABC website of details of the high-rollers and information contained in the reports.

It is understood a letter of demand from Echo sought surrender all the documents by the ABC and a guarantee it would not use them in future stories.

The interim court order has forced the ABC to censor the transcript of its program online and edit out reference to the high-rollers and the reports from its archived story until a full hearing on Tuesday.

The hearing is expected to decide if the incident reports and reports by government inspectors should be returned to the casino. The documents also have been subpoenaed by the inquiry into the Star being conducted by Gail Furness, SC, for the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.

The inquiry was launched after the sacking of the Star's managing director, Sid Vaikunta, in February for sexually harassing two women managers.

The inquiry has also heard allegations that bad behaviour by high-rollers is tolerated at the Star because of how much they gamble. The inquiry is due to report by April 30.

The 7.30 program aired claims by a former government casino inspector, Thomas Lin, who left the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority in 2008, that the authority had not acted on incident reports prepared by inspectors.

The authority said its records show it has acted on all recommendation since July 2010.

A spokesman for Echo Entertainment said, "Echo believes it is important to take steps to protect its confidential customer information."

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