The NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) – the recently formed regulatory body tasked with overseeing The Star Sydney and Crown Sydney – has informed Star Entertainment Group that it does not endorse the appointment of the company’s own independent monitor and will not recognize the monitor’s actions.
According to information filed by Star, operator of The Star Sydney, this week, the company was informed of the NICC’s view by the Special Manager specifically appointed by the NICC to oversee The Star Sydney’s operations.
Star was recently found unsuitable to retain its casino license for The Star Sydney following a review into its operations.
However, it continues to be involved in the day-to-day running of the casino under the supervision of the Special Manager, Nicholas Weeks of Wexted Advisors, following his appointment by the NICC in mid-October. As reported by IAG, Weekes will oversee operations of The Star Sydney for an initial period of 90 days, with his initial task being to determine whether Star’s failings can be rectified and whether it can return to suitability.
The existence of a separate, independent monitor is of Star’s own doing, with the company having engaed Allen & Overy Consulting in August to provide The Star board monitoring and assurance services in relation to management’s progress in implementing its remediation program.
Allen & Overy subsequently gave the green light to Star to proceed with its remediation program last month, however Star said in this week’s filing that, “Based on information received from the Manager of The Star Sydney Casino, The Star understands that the NSW Independent Casino Commission does not endorse the appointment of an independent monitor at this time and as such A&O’s appointment is not made nor endorsed by the NICC.”
It added, “The Star does not anticipate that the NICC will consider endorsing or approving any remediation program for some time.”
The company added that it continues to fully cooperate and work with the Special Manager as he manages the operations of the Sydney casino as announced on 17 October 2022.
“This release is made in the interests of ensuring no potential confusion exists as to the role A&O is currently undertaking nor as to the readiness or approval status of remediation activity currently in progress,” Star said.
The recent appointment of Weekes as Special Manager overseeing The Star Sydney was one of multiple actions emanating from recent Bell Report into The Star Sydney, with the NICC also fining Star AU$100 million (US$62 million).