The Star asserts suitability to hold Sydney casino licence

The Star Entertainment Group has claimed it is suitable to hold a casino licence in Sydney, despite “significant deficiencies and failings,” as reported by ABC.

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In connection with an ongoing review of the operator’s Sydney casino, The Star has accepted prior misconduct but claimed that all involved have since left the company.

“The Star accepts that the evidence before the review permits findings of significant deficiencies and failings,” said Kate Richardson, a lawyer for The Star.

“The persons who engaged in the misconduct are no longer with the businesses. The Star respectfully submits that the review should conclude that it is presently suitable to hold the casino licence.”

This comes after a string of high-profile departures announced by The Star in recent months, including Managing Director and CEO Matt Bekier, who stepped down shortly after the public inquiry began.

Other notable employees that have recently resigned include CFO Harry Theodore, Chief Casino Officer Greg Hawkins and Chief Legal & Risk Officer, as well as Company Secretary, Paula Martin. Bekier’s interim replacement and Board Chairman, John O’Neill, also tendered his resignation.

Richardson added: “While it is accepted that parting ways is not enough, the fact those managers are no longer with the business is highly relevant.

“It sends a powerful message to all employees at the company as to what the board will and will not countenance.”

Inquiry Chair Adam Bell is facing a tough decision. Last month, barristers assisting the probe, including Naomi Sharp, recommended that he find The Star unsuitable to hold a casino licence in Sydney.

She remarked: “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.”

The Star is now also facing a further probe in Queensland.

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