The NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) has opted to suspend The Star’s license, penalize the casino juggernaut $100 million, and appoint a management in reaction to the Bell Report’s revelations.
NICC Chief Commissioner Philip Crawford stated that a manager has been selected by the NICC in conjunction with the decision to impose the disciplinary proceedings of suspension and financial penalty, allowing the casino to continue operating while The Star’s license 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,” he added. “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.
Until it can be decided whether the issues raised during the Bell Review can be fixed and whether the NICC considers it is likely that The Star can achieve appropriateness, Nicholas Weeks has been appointed as manager.
“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.”
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