The Star Review 2021 - Alliance for Gambling Reform

The Star Review 2021 - submission guide

How to tell your story to The Star Review

The Star Review is being conducted by Mr Adam Bell SC. He assisted Her Honour Patricia Bergin investigate Crown in 2020. That review found Crown unsuitable to hold a license in NSW. But the Bergin inquiry did not hear from people who had personal stories of gambling at the casino, so this process is new. 

We understand that telling your story to a Review like this might seem daunting. We are able to give you guidance on how to go about sharing what you have experienced or witnessed in a way the Review will find powerful. You can talk to people who made submissions to the Crown Royal Commission in Victoria, if you would like further information.

How can I tell my story?

  1. If you would like your identity and/or your submission to remain confidential, please contact us so we can provide advice on how to request confidentiality from The Review (put 'Star Review' in the subject line of an email to [email protected])
  2. In an email or attached separate document, write down your story of harm or other matters at The Star Casino Sydney. Include your contact details in case they want to get in touch with you.
  3. Email your submission/ experiences to : [email protected]

Submissions don't need to be fancy or formal. To get an idea of how to share your insights and experience, read Alliance Volunteer Carolyn's story she sent to the Melbourne Crown Royal Commission by clicking here.

If you have any questions or want to speak to someone who’s been there, contact us at [email protected] 


What is the Review investigating?

There are detailed terms of reference which you can read here.

Essentially, Mr Bell will consider if The Star is suitable to manage and operate a casino. He will check if the management and operation of the casino is free of criminal influence or exploitation, and that gambling in the casino is conducted honestly.

He will also need to be satisfied that the operation of the casino does not cause harm to the public interest or to individuals and families.

As well as further investigating the evidence provided in the Bergin inquiry around junkets and the use of The Star’s bank accounts, there is a very specific separate requirement that he investigate “The implementation and administration of gambling harm minimisation programs within The Star”

Here is the official announcement of the Review

What is gambling harm? 

You don’t have to have an addiction to have experienced gambling harm.

Gambling can cause problems in our lives in lots of different ways. They can be invisible and hidden for many years. 

Gambling harm is any negative consequence or side effect that comes from your own or someone else’s gambling. This can range from feelings of regret, or more serious effects like bankruptcy. It can include: 

  • Financial problems like not being able to pay your bills or accumulating debt
  • Relationship strains or difficulties with loved ones leading to breakdown or conflict
  • Health problems such as stress, worry or trouble sleeping at night
  • Emotional or psychological distress including feelings of failure, vulnerability or worthlessness
  • Reduced capacity in other parts of your life including at work or study because of tiredness or distraction
  • Cultural harms including reduced ability to participate in cultural practices or meet community expectations
  • Criminal activity such as theft to fund gambling 

Gambling harm can impact many people, not just the person who’s gambling. Family members, friends, employers and the broader community can also be harmed by someone else’s gambling.


What are The Star’s responsible gambling obligations? 

The Star has obligations to keep the community safe from gambling harm. 

The law requires the casino to

  • Only employ staff who have undertaken training in responsible practices for the conduct of gaming
  • Provide information about the operation of machines or rules of games in the casino
  • Provide information about the chances of winning prizes
  • Provide information about the dangers of gambling
  • Provide player activity statements if requested
  • Provide phone numbers for Gambling Help services and problem gambling counselling services
  • Keep illegal activities off the gambling floor, such as the offering of credit to gamble

The casino must not

  • Offer free or discounted liquor as an inducement to participate or participate frequently in a gambling activity
  • Offer free credits to players or as an inducement to start playing gaming machines
  • Offer a prize that is indecent or offensive to induce people to gamble in the casino

The Casino has its own Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct. They say their staff are trained to be “aware when a guest is displaying behaviours potentially consistent with problem gambling, or displaying observable signs of distress or seeking assistance” (2.3). Their staff should not encourage patrons to chase their losses, or to continue playing if the patron indicates they want to stop (2.4). Their staff should know the signs of distress or behaviour that may indicate a person has a problem with their gambling but the code does not indicate what the staff should do. The are expected to “be aware of and respond to such indicators of distress, behaviour or requests sensitively and within an appropriate timeframe” , but no timeframe is specified.(4.2)

If you or someone you know is in need of support, please call:

Gambling Helpline 1800 858 858 or GambleAware (NSW)

BeyondBlue 1300 22 4636

Lifeline 13 11 14