O’Neill resigns as The Star Executive Chairman ahead of public hearing appearance

John O’Neill has tendered his resignation as Executive Chairman of The Star Entertainment Group.

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This announcement comes only a few days before O’Neill is scheduled to give testimony at a public hearing regarding The Star’s Sydney casino.  

O’Neill was appointed Executive Chairman on 1 April to replace former Managing Director and CEO Matt Bekier.

Bekier’s resignation was prompted by concerns raised during the review, commissioned by New South Wales’ Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) and led by Adam Bell SC.

O’Neill’s appointment was on an interim basis to manage Bekier’s responsibilities during the search for a permanent replacement, but O’Neill has already chosen to step down – as both Executive Chairman and from The Star Board – only a little over one month later.

When O’Neill was appointed Executive Chairman in April, The Star said it had engaged headhunting firm Spencer Stuart to search for Bekier’s replacement.

“The Star Entertainment Group Limited announces that Mr John O’Neill AO has tendered his resignation as Executive Chairman and will also step down from the Board with a departure date to be agreed,” said the Australian casino operator.

It added: “Mr O’Neill will transition his Chair and executive responsibilities in an orderly manner.”

This announcement comes not long after The Star suspended all domestic and international rebate play programmes, and reconfirmed a commitment to not dealing with junkets.

It further follows on from three C-level resignations announced on 6 May. Public hearings into The Star’s Sydney casino began in March and, in April, were extended to 31 August.

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