April 19, 2024 3 min read


Cultural Transformation Efforts Differ between Star and Crown

An expert highlighted a significant difference between the cultural transformation efforts of two of Australia's largest casino operators

Amid the ongoing second inquiry into the license suitability for the Star Sydney, an expert in cultural transformation spoke about the challenges encountered during the attempted transformation of the casino’s parent company, Star Entertainment Group. The company faced legal scrutiny after investigations uncovered alleged deficiencies and breaches of the gambling regulations. Similarly, Crown Resorts, a rival of the Star, was also subject to scrutiny due to alleged insufficient due diligence checks and collaborations with junket operators with potential ties to criminal organizations.

But while one of the companies showed genuine dedication to transformation, the other one looked reluctant to make major changes to its operations, an expert close to the matter revealed. Dr Attracta Lagan, the co-principal of Managing Values, a company that focuses on cultural change and consults businesses on matters related to value and ethics, who was recently quoted by IAG, revealed that there was a significant difference between the cultural transformation efforts demonstrated by the Star and Crown Resorts.

She explained that the Star’s former CEO, Robbie Cooke, played a key role in raising funds, ensuring the future of the company. However, Lagan said: “They (Star) spent a fortune on consultants but never built an organization from within and never hired someone (as an internal position) to help manage any cultural change.”

The expert flagged another concern, observed at the Star which involved a “closed culture” and a “us versus them” mentality, amid the ongoing scrutiny of the gambling regulators. Managing Values’ co-principal pointed out that the Star “never listened,” and the company’s culture was driven by fear, as many employees were concerned about losing their jobs.

Strong Leadership Is Pivotal for Any Business Transformation

Lagan highlighted the importance of leadership and strong management, adding that middle management also plays a key role in the successful business transformation for companies. However, she said that despite the efforts of the workers, who tried their best, the leadership was missing.

Earlier this week, allegations of records falsification emerged against the Star Sydney, amid the second inquiry into the casino’s license suitability. The slow cultural transformation and missing leadership were among the issues raised by the venue’s specially appointed manager, Nicholas Weeks. During testimony this week, he said that the “absence of leadership” was a key reason for the slower-than-expected progress of the company.

There was a significant difference between the efforts of the Star and Crown, according to Lagan. She explained: “Crown was in the same situation and it’s managed to rebuild.” What’s more, Lagan highlighted Crown’s progress, saying that regular checks are conducted, and the operator collaborates with the company in addressing different challenges to ensure compliance with the requirements of the gambling regulator.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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