Star invites independent monitor oversee transformation policy

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
Australian gaming operator Star Entertainment Group has announced it has invited independent monitor Allen & Overy Consulting to oversee its “renewal programme”, a company scheme to uplift the business’s risk, compliance and cultural practices.
Star monitor

Star announced the project in the wake of an investigation from Australian newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, which found significant failings in the company’s anti-money laundering practices, as well as questions over the business’s interactions with junkets.

Following this investigation, the Star became the subject of licence reviews in each Australian state that it operates in.

The group is currently being investigated by Adam Bell SC from the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority whose report into malpractice at Star is expected by 31 August. Reconstruction specialist advisory firm Wexted Advisors have been retained by the ILGA to advise on the Star Sydney’s casino operations.

Star also faces an independent review from the Queensland authorities over the business’s suitability to hold a licence in the Australian state, which has probed whether the operator received illegal payments from Chinese nationals contravening Chinese currency movement restriction laws.

As an effort, the renewal scheme is under the purview of the Star’s transformation office, which is led by Star Sydney CEO Scott Wharton who has been tapped as group head of transformation. 

Allen & Overy will also work to ensure transparent reporting to both the board and regulatory bodies regarding the progress of programme.

Interim Star chairman and non-executive director Ben Heap commented: “We look forward to working with our various regulators and are committed to continuous improvement through our Renewal Program.”

“The renewal programme will deliver immediate and medium-term outcomes focused on governance, culture, training, systems and technology initiatives.”

“This is an important program of work for The Star and early elements of the program are well underway,” Heap continued.

“We will report to relevant regulatory authorities on progress transparently, including through the independent monitor where that is appropriate.”

Subscribe to the ICE365 newsletter