Regulators in both NSW and Queensland have informed Star Entertainment Group that they will extend the terms of appointment of respective Special Managers in each state tasked with overseeing the company’s return to suitability.
In a series of ASX filings on Friday, Star revealed that the term of Nicholas Weeks as Manager of The Star Sydney would be extended by almost six months from January 2024 until 30 June 2024. The extension is, Star said, to satisfy the New South Wales Independent Casino Commission (NICC) that Star is capable of undertaking the remedial action required for it to become suitable and be permitted to return to gaming in accordance with the provisions of the Sydney casino licence.
The NICC has, however, advised that it intends for this to be the final extension of the Manager’s term, and that it can end the Manager’s term early if deemed appropriate to do so.
Also extended is the term of extending the term of the Special Manager for The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane casinos in Queensland by 12 months to 8 December 2024 following a decision by the Attorney-General of Queensland, Yvette D’Ath, to change the date of effect of a 90-day casino licence suspensions for both casinos from 1 December 2023 to 31 May 2024.
This, Star explained, means it will be required, prior to 31 May 2024, to demonstrate to the Queensland Government that it is delivering upon its Remediation Plan and returning to suitability.
Star also announced that D’Ath has now approved the company’s Remediation Plan, which includes around 640 milestones across 15 workstreams to be implemented over a multi-year period. The Remediation Plan is yet to be approved by the NICC is NSW.
“We’re pleased to have our Remediation Plan approved in Queensland,” said Star Managing Director and CEO, Robbie Cooke. “It’s an important step on our path to returning to suitability in Queensland and will track and hold us accountable throughout the multi-year program we are committed to delivering.
“At the same time, we are fully aware that successful implementation of the Remediation Plan will require the utmost rigour and discipline.
“We need to regain the trust and confidence of all our stakeholders and communities and continue to have an unwavering focus on transformation. That comes from a clear understanding that holding casino licences is a privilege, not a right.”
Special Managers were appointed to oversee Star’s NSW and Queensland operations after inquiries in each state found the company unsuitable due to serious governance and risk management failures, breaches of regulation, failure to implement adequate anti-money laundering controls, and deceptive and unethical behavior, among others.