MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CEO
Star Entertainment Group
POWER SCORE: 1,161
POSITION LAST YEAR: 20
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
- Has positioned Star to challenge Crown Resorts as Australia’s No.1 casino operator
Once the little brother of Australia’s casino industry, Star Entertainment Group has surged under the leadership of Matt Bekier to have arguably stolen the title of kingpin from long-time industry leader Crown Resorts.
Star has been far from immune from the impacts of COVID-19 – shutting down its Sydney and Queensland casinos in mid-March as the nation went into lockdown and having to maintain restrictions at flagship The Star Sydney ever since its reopening in early July. But it remains far better placed than Crown, whose Crown Melbourne casino has remained off limits for more than seven months now, just as management faced a grilling from NSW regulators.
It remains to be seen whether Star will end up counting Crown as a competitor in the Sydney market, but in the meantime the company formerly known as Echo keeps gradually upping the ante.
Recently completed upgrades to premium gaming facilities at The Star Sydney may soon be complemented by a fancy new The Ritz-Carlton hotel tower with the group recently submitting its second batch of plans to government.
It is also well advanced with construction of its 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 and a fine complement to impressive The Star Gold Coast just an hour down the highway.
For the full list of 2020 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.