Land-BasedCasinoLegal & Regulatory

The Star unsuitable to run Sydney casino, inquiry told

A public inquiry has been told that The Star Entertainment Group is not suitable to hold a licence for its Sydney casino, as reported by ABC.

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The Australian operator is currently subject to an inquiry from the New South Wales gaming regulator, in relation to claims it enabled suspected money laundering, organised crime, fraud, and foreign interference at The Star Sydney.

And the team of barristers assisting the probe has now recommended that inquiry Chair Adam Bell, SC, find the operator unsuitable to hold a casino licence in Sydney, suggesting that the group is only at the beginning of its journey to remediation.

In the latest developments, counsel assisting the inquiry Naomi Sharp, SC, noted unethical behaviour within The Star legal team, a VIP team that was not properly supervised, as well as very serious failures in risk management frameworks.

Sharp added that responsibility for such failures went all the way up to the board. Several executives have left the company in recent weeks, including Chief Executive Matt Bekier, CFO Harry Theodore, Chief Casino Officer Greg Hawkins, and Chief Legal & Risk Officer and Company Secretary Paula Martin. John O’Neill also tendered his resignation as Executive Chairman earlier this month.

“We submit that the evidence in the public hearing establishes that The Star is not suitable to hold the casino licence and that its close associate Star Entertainment is not suitable either,” said Sharp.

“There has not yet been the period of deep reflection which of course will be necessary in order to develop a concrete plan about what can bring these corporations into a position of suitability.”

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