MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CEO
Star Entertainment Group
POWER SCORE: 1,335
POSITION LAST YEAR: 15
CLAIMS TO FAME
• Leading aggressive growth strategy in key Sydney and Queensland markets
• Implemented strategic partnerships with Asia’s Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium in bid to conquer lucrative Chinese market
Australia’s Star Entertainment Group has faced plenty of challenges this year, yet under the guidance of its Managing Director and CEO Matt Bekier the one-time smaller brother of traditional Aussie market leader Crown continues to grow.
Much of that growth can be attributed to Star’s substantial Queensland expansion, led by the AU$3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf Development in Brisbane – a massive project covering 26 hectares in and around the city’s waterfront due to open in 2022. Queen’s Wharf – a joint venture with Hong Kong giants Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium – will be by far Australia’s largest casino resort once complete.
Star is also well underway with comprehensive upgrade works of The Star Gold Coast, located on one of Australia’s most famous beach holiday strips, while the NSW government’s recent rejection of plans to develop an AU$500 million Ritz-Carlton hotel alongside The Star Sydney hasn’t deterred the company from pushing ahead with its latest set of improvements to its harbor city flagship.
Since taking over the top job of a company left reeling from a long list of controversies in 2014, Bekier has not only rebuilt the reputation of Star Entertainment Group – formerly known as Echo Entertainment – he has also put it on the regional map.
And while Australia hasn’t been immune from the same headwinds negatively impacting Macau’s VIP market – group-wide VIP turnover declined 30.7% in the 12 months to 30 June 2019 – strong domestic performance was enough to ensure a 3.4% increase in net revenue to AU$2.16 billion and 14.1% rise in group wide EBITDA to AU$552.8 million.
For the full list of 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.