Star Entertainment Group Continues to Reform

The Australian Star Entertainment Group Limited has announced the suspension of rebate play programs, both domestic and international, and reiterated its commitment not to deal with junkets.

The latest announcement arrived as the operator is attempting to handle issues that have emerged from the ongoing review of its Sydney casino, which is being undertaken by the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority and overseen by Adam Bell SC, who was also the lead senior counsel on the Bergin Inquiry into Crown Resorts.

The board released a statement in which it said that it was immediately suspending its rebate programs for all players until further process. The statement also said that the operator will be working with gaming regulators “to address various identified risks as part of ongoing reviews of systems and processes.”

In order to assist with this, Star has hired a number of external advisors and is working hard to improve its systems and processes while it is under review.

The same statement referred to Star’s decision in October 2020 to stop working with junket programs and added that due to the Covid-related impacts on the business, the decision to stop the rebate programs and cease work with junkets should have no real effect on earnings for FY22.

Earlier this month Star’s CFO Harry Theodore, Chief Casino Officer (NSW) Greg Hawkins, and Chief Legal & Risk Officer and Company Secretary Paula Martin all resigned. This came after the resignation of CEO Matt Bekier in March. The statement said that they are now working with the Executive Chairman to ensure a smooth transition of their responsibilities and an executive search firm is seeking their permanent replacements.

During the transition period, Christina Katsibouba is working as Interim CFO while Geoff Hogg is acting as Interim Chief Casino Officer NSW & Qld. It is expected that further interim appointments will be announced in the near future.

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