Star casino licence suspended
In response to the revelations of the Bell Report, the NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) has decided to suspend The Star’s licence, fine the casino giant $100 million, and appoint a manager.
NICC Chief Commissioner Philip Crawford said, in conjunction with the decision to take the disciplinary actions of suspension and pecuniary penalty, a manager has been appointed by the NICC, which will enable the casino to remain operational while The Star’s licence is suspended.
“The suspension comes into effect Friday 21 October 9.00am when the manager starts in the role,” Mr Crawford said.
“The NICC has resolved that it is no longer in the public interest that The Star should remain in control of that licence, and that The Star is not currently suitable to be the holder of the licence.
“The Star’s current board and executive understand the gravity of Bell’s findings. They have publicly apologised and acknowledged the serious wrongdoing that occurred, and they are willing to co-operate with the regulator.
“The Star’s public communications to shareholders and its submission to the NICC’s show cause notice have demonstrated genuine contrition and a desire to work openly and transparently with the NICC to try to preserve the licence and protect the many jobs that depend on it being operable.
“If it were not for The Star’s change in attitude and our belief that it is in the public interest to protect the thousands of jobs at risk, there might have been a different outcome.
The NICC has appointed Nicholas Weeks as manager until it can determine whether the matters identified during the Bell Review can be rectified and whether the NICC believes it is likely that The Star can achieve suitability.
“I’m hopeful incoming CEO Robbie Cooke can apply his experience and leadership skills to guide the company towards suitability under the direction of the manager,” Mr Crawford said.
“The appointment of Mr Weeks will allow casino operations to continue and his primary focus will be to ensure a robust root cause analysis and review of the casino’s culture is undertaken.
“The appointment of a manager does not mean the NICC believes The Star is suitable to hold a casino licence.
“At this point the NICC believes there is a possibility The Star can undertake the reforms necessary to give the NICC confidence it can start a remediation process with a view to becoming suitable.”