The Star dishes out US$1m in bonuses

The firm received over US$7m in subsides to pay employees.
The firm received over US$7m in subsides to pay employees.

The Australian casino operator didn’t meet its goals for the year and had to stand down 95 per cent of its employees.

Australia.- Casino operator The Star Entertainment Group revealed full-year 2020 financial results this week and has awarded bonuses to five of its top executives.

The company handed out AU$1.4 million (US$1.02 million) in bonuses in the form of shares to preserve liquidity within the difficult times of the pandemic.  

The group reported net losses of AU$94.5 million (US$67.9 million) for the year ending June 30, blaming the results on the lockdown measures imposed from late March until the beginning of July. 

Star chief executive Matt Bekier received AU$2.3 million (US$1.68 million) for the 2020 financial year, down from AU$3.3 million (US$2.41 million) a year earlier. He also took a 40 per cent pay cut during the pandemic.  

The Star stood down 95 per cent of its 9,000 workers when its Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast casinos were closed, Of those, 7,000 workers received AU$130 million (US$95.1 million) in JobKeeper payments. 

The Jobkeeper payments were one of the Australian government’s initiatives to allow businesses in the country to keep on employees while they were unable to operate.

The Sydney Morning Herald has been unimpressed with the company granting bonuses while pocketing part of a Jobkeeper subsidy of AU$9.6 million (US$7.02 million) which it received to pay the salaries of workers who were not stood down.  

A Star spokesman told the Herald that the JobKeeper scheme allowed the return of staff when it otherwise would not have been feasible because the company is operating venues without making profit.  

The company also gave staff that were stood down two weeks of paid “pandemic leave”, which cost about AU$19 million (US$13.8 million). It alsp paid AU$3 million (US$2.1 million) to staff who were ineligible for JobKeeper payments, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. 

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