Star Entertainment is still facing an extensive inquiry into what has been dubbed dubious practices by regulators and the government. The commission looking into numerous breaches of trust has now cost two more higher-ups their positions with the company’s Board of Directors, with both stepping down from the Australian casino giant.
Executive Musical Chairs
Non-executive directors Sally Pitkin and Gerard Bradley have both confirmed that they will be bowing out of the company. They are likely to continue assisting Star Entertainment while replacements are being sought. Bradley and Pitkin will leave no later than the end of the financial year, or in the case of Bradley, in the “coming months” with no obligation to an exact timeline.
Executives have been withdrawing from the company to try and appease regulators who have been digging into various alleged breaches of AML, KYC, and CTF policies. Crown Resorts, a competitor, faced a similar level of public pressure and regulatory inquiry over similar issues. In fact, Crown had investigators look into Crown Sydney, Crown Melbourne, and Crown Perth by different state regulators.
Star is facing the same amount of scrutiny as it seeks to retain its positions in the country and continue running gambling and hospitality businesses. But this has proven a difficult task. Many executives have decided to step down already, including CEO Matt Bekier, chairman of the board John O’Neill, and other senior executives, including Paula Martin, Harry Theodore, Greg Hawkins, and others.
Effectively, executives are silently accepting responsibility for the breaches, and even though much-feigned ignorance in the matter of accepting dodgy payments from VIP gamblers and customers, investigators are aware that the wave of resignations is assuming responsibility.
Star Wants to Retain Presence
In other words, there is very little chance that executives at Star Entertainment Group were unaware of some of the questionable practices that the company is now facing an inquiry over. The question is whether regulators would seek the harshest possible course of action or offer Star a second chance, just like they did Crown Resorts.
Star is already facing some difficulties over its latest choices. Both John O’Neill and Helen Coonan were disliked by regulators. Star is treading on thin ice in attempting to reverse the damage some of its practices have done on the property. To get there, it would need to present a strong and reliable lineup of executives capable of steering the company forward. Crown Resorts also lost almost all of its executives during its inquiries.