Star Entertainment, an Australian casino & hospitality giant, continues to implement its remediation plans, improving its practices in the wake of regulatory hurdles. As outlined in a report by NSW’s Minister for Gaming and Racing, David Harris, the company has now implemented more than two-thirds of the Bell Review recommendations.
In September 2021, NSW’s regulator appointed Adam Bell SC, an independent legal counselor, to conduct a review of The Star. The property’s suitability to hold a license was brought into question amid multiple regulatory failings.
Bell and the regulator eventually deemed Star Entertainment unsuitable to hold a license in the Australian state because of governance problems, cultural issues and risk management violations. In addition, Star was found to have treated NSW’s regulator with contempt.
Because of its failings, Star Entertainment was forced to pay fines and implement certain remediation measures, lest it lose its license. The company was also involved in class action lawsuits.
Despite its past failings, Star Entertainment is now trying hard to do better and follow the remediation suggestions outlined in the Bell review. According to Harris, the company has now implemented a whopping 22 of the 30 recommendations.
The casino operator released an update where it vowed to work just as hard on implementing the remaining 8 recommendations. To that end, Star Entertainment will work closely with the appointed manager and relevant regulators, it promised.
However, Star Entertainment warned that many of the remaining recommendations are “multi-faceted” and “with complex workstreams.” As a result, the company will likely need more time to complete their implementation. Star Entertainment added that many of the recommendations will be integrated into The Star’s remediation plan.
Star Entertainment Faces Significant Challenges
In the meantime, Star Entertainment onboarded Peter Hodgson as a non-executive director. Hodgson boasts a wealth of experience in finance and will play a role in the company’s efforts to recover its business.
Speaking of business, in addition to dealing with the difficulties of implementing the remediation measures, Star Entertainment is also facing financial trouble. The company just published its FY 2022/23 results, reporting an unpleasant full-year loss of $1.6 million. The company was additionally set back by the regulatory costs it had to cover.
A representative said that saying that the year had been challenging would understate the seriousness of the situation.
Luckily, Star Entertainment was able to at least negotiate an important tax relief deal in New South Wales.
Despite the troubles, Star Entertainment is bullish on doing better and recovering its business.