Star Entertainment’s trouble does not seem to fade away. Recently after the company was put in the spotlight for AML breaches, the company’s CEO, Matt Bekier, said on Monday that he will be tendering his resignation as he felt obliged to take responsibility for the current discrepancies.
Bekier’s Resignation Is Effective Immediately
Bekier’s resignation follows the controversy surrounding Star Sydney. He informed the company that he feels responsible and should be held accountable for all the potential wrongdoings. As a result, he will be stepping down as CEO and managing director, effective immediately.
Apart from the ongoing issues surrounding money laundering and anti-terrorism breaches, Star is also under much scrutiny for underpaying former and current employees. Now, the casino operator is facing the same issue as Crown Resorts, where shortly after all the drama unfolded, a massive executive purge took place.
Governance experts are convinced that in order for Star to clean up, numerous other executives need to leave the company, especially those that were aware of Star Entertainment’s wrongdoings and decided not to do anything about that. These executives include John O’Neill, Richard Sheppard, Gerard Bradley, Katie Lahey, and Sally Pitkin.
Star Entertainment has announced that Bekier will be working with the company’s board to ensure a smooth transition, but a departure date is yet to be determined.
Bekier Was Hostile When the Issues Were Brought to His Attention
Calls for Bekier’s resignation started stirring up last week after revelations about his conduct when The Star Sydney’s issues were brought to the light. According to Paul McWilliams, former chief risk officer at The Star, Bekier was acting extremely unprofessionally and was “in a sulk” when the issue was brought to his attention.
Moreover, his body language signaled that he thought that KPMG did not know what they were talking about. KPMG partner Alexander Graham said that when KPMG met with Bekier to discuss the issues, he was hostile and didn’t even look the firm’s representatives in the eyes.
Furthermore, Graham testified that Bekier’s hostility towards him and Jeff O’Sullivan, another KPMG partner, prompted Zlatko Todorcevski to “apologize for their treatment.” Todorcevski was the then-chairman of the audit committee and is the current CEO of Boral.
Currently, The Star Entertainment is facing a lot of problems for allowing Chinese high-rollers to gamble at The Star Sydney, even though they were tied to criminal organizations.
David Aloi, the regulatory manager of The Star, even admitted that the company has been processing credit card transactions as hotel purchases and that this has become standard practice at the establishment. These transactions were processed in such a way for Chinese VIPs as well as the China Union Pay card as they cannot be used for gambling purposes.