The Star Casino Gold Coast Celebrates 35 Years of Business

Star Goald Cost Casino

Star toasts 35 years on the Gold Coast

The Star Gold Coast celebrated a milestone this week, its 35th anniversary since opening on November 23, 1985.

Originally called The Conrad Jupiters Casino and Resort, the establishment was renamed Jupiters Casino in 2010 before changing to The Star Gold Coast in 2017.

During the past three and a half decades, more than eight billion cards have been dealt in the casino, while guests have feasted on more than 24 million oysters in the property’s restaurants.

Thousands of world-renowned entertainers have taken to the stage in the casino’s theatre including Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, The Beach Boys, Rihanna and Mariah Carey.

The property recently embarked on a multimillion-dollar transformation involving one of the most extensive hotel refurbishments ever undertaken in Australia, the build of a new luxury suite hotel, a new poolside experience and an array of new, contemporary restaurants and bars.

Expansion is also set to continue as part of an approved $2 billion masterplan, including the construction of an additional four towers and associated world-class resort amenities.

The Star Gold Coast gaming operations manager Steve Hennessey was part of the property’s opening team and is one of a small contingent of team members who have been with the property since the beginning.

He says one of the significant changes he has observed in the past 35 years is the advancement of gaming technology.

“Technology has made a huge difference in the way we operate, from simple things like shuffling the cards,” Mr Hennessey said.

“When we first started, we had to shuffle them ourselves and now we have machines that can do it for us.

“When we first opened our doors, both guests and gaming management were able to smoke whilst working on the gaming floor, something you wouldn’t hear about today.

“It’s been great to see the property restrict smoking to certain sections of our premium gaming areas over the year, but even better to see that we’re moving to no indoor smoking completely by 2022.

“I’ve had a wonderful journey so far and I feel really honoured to have enjoyed a wide variety of roles over the year and continue to be a part of The Star’s history and future.”

The Star Gold Coast’s general manager gaming operations Ian Brown has also been with the property since day one.

“The Gold Coast is an iconic tourism and leisure destination and we’ve been delighted to be part of its dynamic community all these years and support history-making events like the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and the first TV WEEK Logie Awards outside of Victoria,” Mr Brown said.

“When we opened 35 years ago, the property had a strong focus on gaming but in the last six year I’m proud this focus has significantly shifted towards our non-gaming offering.”

Star Gold Coast chases unpaid debt

An Australian casino is suing a Singapore high roller over a $45 million gambling debt.

Casino.org reported in October that The Star Gold Coast is sueing Singapore native, Dr Wong Yew Choi, a well known Asian high roller.

Dr Wong was flown to The Star’s property on his private jet and given a A$200,000 welcome in gaming chips and accepted a check from the VIP exchange for an initial line of credit totalling A$40 million.

Between July 26 and August 1, 2018, the casino says he gambled it all away on baccarat tables.

His final debt is alleged to total A$43.2 million.

In July, the Supreme Court of Singapore dismissed The Star’s lawsuit against Dr Wong seeking the recovery of his gambling debts.

The court cited Singapore Civil Law Act, which prohibits the government assisting foreign companies seeking the recovery of debts related to overseas gambling.

Star Entertainment isn’t folding, however, now taking its legal fight to its home court system.

Attorneys for Dr Wong claim the baccarat dealers made unspecified “mistakes” during his time at the tables.

He claims he was invited to Star Gold Coast by a marketing executive with the casino, but became furious with dealer mistakes and informed the VIP room managers he was done.

In court filings, Dr Wong says casino staff persuaded him to continue playing and was assured that he would not be liable for further gambling debts caused by the dealer mishaps.

Dr Wong claims he was seduced by VIP marketing executive Teazel Yaw to keep gambling.

The Star denies those accusations and says it’s Dr Won’g way of trying to get out of paying his liabilities.

Little is known about Dr Wong and how he amassed such wealth that a casino would be willing to lend him tens of millions of dollars.

Dr Wong is the chairman of Celton Manx, an online gaming and software firm based in the Isle of Man.

The company is said to be the first interactive gaming firm to be licensed to operate internet table games with live dealers in the self-governing British sovereign state.

William Brown

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