The company has accepted the findings of the Bell Report, including the finding of unsuitability.
Australia.- The Star Entertainment Group has issued a statement in response to the NSW Independent Casino Commission’s (NICC) notice following Adam Bell SC’s report on The Star Sydney. The company says it has accepted the findings of the Bell Report, including the finding of unsuitability, and acknowledges the gravity of its conduct.
In the statement signed by Ben Heap, Star Entertainment Group’s interim chairman, the casino operator stressed that it has taken urgent remedial steps, including taking on more risk, compliance, and security staff, approving upgrades to surveillance technology, permanently ending relationships with junket businesses and closing the Marquee nightclub.
Heap said: “The company is committed to taking additional necessary and appropriate action in clear timeframes to address the issues raised by Bell so the NICC can be satisfied that The Star Sydney has taken sufficient steps, and has bound itself to take further steps, so that it may continue to hold its licence.
The Star Entertainment Group said it was committed to working with the NICC and doing whatever was necessary to restore The Star Sydney to suitability. It said it has developed a comprehensive remediation plan for a multi-year transformation of governance, accountability and capabilities, culture, and risk and compliance management practices.
The plan is structured along nine workstreams: governance, people, culture, risk and compliance management, financial crime, safer gambling, investigations, technology and data and communications. Apart from communications, each has a defined problem statement and target. There are 48 specific initiatives and 130 design and implementation milestones.
For each milestone, there are specific closure criteria and an independent monitor to track progress and provide early warning if things go off track.
As per recent amendments to the NSW Casino Control Act, the company will implement technology upgrades and develop new systems as it transitions to compulsory carded play and cashless gaming. Heap said Star’s board will finalise the budget for the plan over the next month following the NICC’s feedback and relevant recommendations and findings from AUSTRAC.
The casino operator plans to conclude the plan by end of 2024 but “acknowledges that post-implementation and achievement of remediation program outcomes, the business-as-usual operations will require sustainability and continuous improvement to ensure proper embedding of change, ongoing compliance with regulatory requirements, and alignment with industry standards.”