The Executive Chairman of Australia’s Star Entertainment Group, John O’Neill, has stepped down from the Board of Directors just seven weeks after first stepping into the interim role.
His departure also comes days before O’Neill, Chairman of the company since 2012, is due to front public hearings into Star’s suitability to retain its NSW casino license for The Star Sydney. He had been appointed Executive Chairman in early April following the departure of Managing Director and CEO Matt Bekier.
In an ASX filing, Star said he had informed his fellow directors of his decision late Friday and will now begin the process of transitioning his responsibilities “in an orderly manner”. Interim arrangements will be announced in the coming days.
O’Neill is the latest in a growing list of casualties at The Star, which currently finds itself facing similar scrutiny to that experienced by domestic rival Crown Resorts in recent years.
Having largely dodged scrutiny while Crown endured an inquiry in NSW, home to Crown Sydney, and Royal Commissions in Victoria and Western Australia, home to Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth, Star now finds itself treading a familiar path since farewelling Bekier, in March.
Senior executives Harry Theodore, Greg Hawkins and Paula Martin have also tendered their resignations, as have non-executive directors Sally Pitkin and Gerard Bradley.
Star recently announced that it was suspending all domestic and international rebate play programs in the wake of issues raised during the ongoing review into The Star Sydney.
Those issues have primarily centered 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.