Star Entertainment successfully implements 22 of 30 NSW proposals

Star Entertainment Group

Australia’s Star Entertainment has implemented 22 of the 30 recommendations stemming from a damning enquiry into the company’s practices that was finalised a little under one year ago.

This comes from a fresh report handed down by David Harris, New South Wales Minister for Gaming and Racing, that has been published by the state government to detail progress being made regarding the implementation of the numerous points of guidance.

In September 2021, the then Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, now the NSW Independent Casino Commission, appointed Adam Bell SC to conduct a review of The Star.

The main goal was to assess its suitability to hold and be associated with a casino licence in the region, including compliance with its regulatory and legal obligations. 

In September 2022, an unsuitability verdict was issued, with “many governance, risk management and cultural failings” reported as being discovered, with Star also found to have treated the state regulator “with disdain” and having delivered “deceptive” communications in the past.

Following this finding, which was followed by a similar ruling some time later within the group’s home market of Queensland, Star was hit with a pair of A$100m penalty packages as well as a number of remediation orders. 

Further regulatory issues have seen the operator become subject of enforcement action from Australia’s financial watchdog AUSTRAC, and counting four class action lawsuits being levelled against the group.

Within New South Wales, a fresh update has detailed the work being undertaken to implement each Bell Report recommendation, and noted that 22 of the 30 handed down have been implemented and that eight remain in progress. 

“The Star continues to engage with the appointed manager and relevant regulators in relation to its remediation initiatives,” a company update assured.

Regarding ongoing work regarding the remaining implementations, the report read: “It is important to note that many of the recommendations are multi-faceted, with complex workstreams which require longer time frames to allow for effective implementation and monitoring. 

“In addition, many of the recommendations are expected to be built into The Star’s remediation plan which is in the process of being finalised.”

Yesterday, Star revealed that it had swung to a huge A$2.43bn statutory net loss for the 12 months ending June 30, 2023, as the numerous challenges encountered across recent times continue to take their toll on the company.

This figure includes A$2.82bn of significant items that comprise a non-cash impairment of The Star Sydney, The Star Gold Coast and Treasury (A$2.17bn), debt restructuring costs (A$54m) and redundancy costs (A$16m).

Furthermore, A$593m in ongoing regulatory and legal costs includes NICC and OLGR fines, AUSTRAC civil proceedings, unpaid NSW casino duty and costs associated with ongoing regulatory reviews.