Star Entertainment dives on NSW govt's proposal to reform casino tax rates

Dec 19 (Reuters) - Shares in Australia's Star Entertainment Group tumbled nearly 12% on Monday, after the New South Wales (NSW) government proposed to raise taxes on casino poker machine operators in the state from July next year.

The potential gaming tax changes, which will affect Star's operations in Sydney - which made up half its revenue in the fiscal 2022, according to its annual report - could raise an additional A$364 million ($243.63 million) over the next three years, if implemented.

The NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said on Saturday the money raised will be used to help fund vital services like helping communities recover from impacts of COVID-19, bushfires and floods.

The move comes amid increased efforts to reform Australia's gambling industry which has been roiled in damning reports of sidestepping anti-money-laundering rules, dysfunctional governance and poor corporate culture.

Star Entertainment Group said in a statement on Monday it had not been consulted by the NSW government on the matter, adding it is "seeking to urgently engage with the NSW government as to the sustainability of the proposed tax changes and the impact on The Star's business".

Shares hit their lowest since April 23, 2020.

($1 = 1.4941 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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