Star Entertainment Group

Australia’s Star Entertainment Group asserts that it is to “embark on a program of renewal in a timely manner,” after confirming an interim executive chair following the resignation of Matt Bekier.

Bekier tendered his resignation last week amid an Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority mandated public inquiry in New South Wales that is determining if the firm is complying with its statutory obligations, and whether it remains suitable to hold its licence.

Star stated that while “the board considers it critical that the company has stability in this transitional period,” it acknowledges that there’s a need for “accelerated board change”.

An overhaul of senior management and directors would mirror action taken by Crown Resorts, after regulators discovered an array of failings following a series of investigations across Australian states.

Furthermore, following the aforementioned resignation, the company has confirmed that John O’Neill will assume the role of Executive Chairman on an interim basis, effective immediately. 

A search is underway for a successor as Managing director and CEO, Star noted, with Bekier available in the short term to provide handover assistance as the board requests.

A review of The Star Sydney is ongoing and is being undertaken by Mr Adam Bell, who as the lead senior counsel assisting the Bergin Inquiry into Crown.

Thus far, damning revelations have been disclosed that reveal allegations that the group disguised A$900m of transactions, as well as failures over junket oversight and anti-money laundering protocols.

Earlier in the week, Australian law firm Slater and Gordon filed a class action lawsuit against Star Entertainment Group for what it called “misleading or deceptive” representations regarding compliance with regulatory obligations.

The filing, said Slater and Gordon, has been made on behalf of investors who acquired shares between March 29, 2016, and March, 16, 2022, who are seeking compensation amid a price decline “by more than 25 per cent, wiping more than A$1bn from the company’s value”.