Australia’s Star Entertainment Group says it will suspend all domestic and international rebate play programs in the wake of issues raised during an ongoing review into The Star Sydney.
The review, being conducted by Adam Bell SC, has seen a raft of issues raised around Star’s relationship with Asian junket promoters, including liberties granted to leading junket Suncity Group in operating its own VIP room at The Star Sydney and the illegal use of China Union Pay cards by Star to disguise gambling transactions.
The company issued a notice on Monday morning announcing it has immediately suspended rebate programs for both domestic and international players across all its casinos until further notice, and stating that it ceased all junket programs in October 2020, although it was only in May 2021 that the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) revealed it has reached an agreement with Star to no longer work with international junket operators.
“The Star will work with gaming regulators to address various identified risks as part of ongoing reviews of systems and processes,” it said. The Star has also engaged external advisors and continues a significant program of work to further improve those systems and processes while cooperating fully with the Review.”
Then suspension of rebate programs comes just days after three senior executives – Chief Financial Officer Harry Theodore, Chief Casino Officer (NSW) Greg Hawkins and Chief Legal & Risk Officer and Company Secretary Paula Martin – tendered their resignations in the wake of the findings.
Star is currently working to find permanent replacements for the trio but said Monday that current Group Executive Gaming, Christina Katsibouba, has been appointed Interim Chief Financial Officer and current Group Executive Operations Geoff Hogg appointed Interim Chief Casino Officer NSW & Qld.