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Asia round-up: Universal Entertainment’s clean up, The Star’s appointment & Crown Resorts

The parent of the casino's operator Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment (TRLEI), Universal had expressed concerns that Okada illegally released funds from the casino’s coffers while he was in charge. 

asia news roundup okada manila 3 gambling insider web image

Universal’s need to 'normalise' operations could suggest some financial imbalance exists regarding the casino’s finances. 

The conglomerate reclaimed control of the Okada Manila on Friday 2 September, with the help of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and local police forces. 

Before Universal reclaimed the casino, PAGCOR established its own legal recourse to relinquish the control Okada’s group had on the casino – paving a path for Universal to retake the Okada Manila. 

Having reclaimed the casino, Universal has now accused Okada of wrongfully dismissing key employees, wrongly seizing assets and destroying key documents. 

“The TRLEI board looks forward to the full resumption of normality at Okada Manila, and looks forward to Kazuo Okada’s participation in the scheduled board meeting”Universal Entertainment, Official Statement

Universal Entertainment’s statement read: “The TRLEI board looks forward to the full resumption of normality at Okada Manila, and looks forward to Kazuo Okada’s participation in the scheduled board meeting.” 

It added that representatives of Okada would not be allowed entry into the Okada Manila property henceforth.

The Star Entertainment Group appoints Zhan Spalding

The Star Entertainment Group has appointed Zhan Spalding as General Manager of Surveillance Queensland, a newly created role. 

She commenced her duties on 5 September and will divide her time between the group’s two Queensland properties. 

Her aim is to play a key role in the transition from the Treasury Brisbane surveillance team to a new model in preparation for operations commencing at the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane precinct, which has a planned staged opening for the second half of 2023.

Spalding will also commence immediate oversight of the existing surveillance operating model at The Star Gold Coast. 

“We are thrilled to have been successful in attracting Zhan to this new and critical role for the business,” said The Star Gold Coast COO Jess Mellor. 

“She has extensive expertise in surveillance technology implementation, multi-site management, restructuring and streamlining processes, which we will be relying on as we further cement our position as the Gold Coast’s premium tourism and entertainment destination.” 

Ciarán Carruthers addresses employees as Crown Resorts CEO 

“[Spalding] has extensive expertise in surveillance technology implementation, multi-site management, restructuring and streamlining processes” Jess Mellor, The Star Gold Coast COO

Ciarán Carruthers officially addressed employees at Crown Resorts on his first day as CEO of the Australian operator. 

Replacing Steve McCann, Carruthers thanked the CEO for his efforts in stabilising the company over the past 15 months, which had been in a state of turmoil following convictions of fraud given to its previous management – still having some way to go in its recovery. 

The operator was guilty of misappropriating payments taken from China UnionPay credit cards. 

However, McCann is set to stay on at Crown in the short term, overseeing a transitional period as Carruthers settles into his new role.

Carruthers' appointment comes the same day that the New South Wales casino regulator begins its work – the NSW Independent Casino Commission. 

The new commission replaces the former NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) and will be headed by Philip Crawford, who was also chief at ILGA. 

Missed a big gambling industry story in Asia? Don't worry, Gambling Insider has you covered with our Asia round-up.


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