The beginning of the week saw an official announcement that the Star Entertainment Group has appointed two individuals – Anne Ward and David Foster – as non-executive directors. By doing so, the number of directors on the company’s board has increased to seven. The new board of directors’ appointments are set to be taken into consideration by local regulatory bodies and will be subject to the competent watchdogs’ approvals.
The first one of the two new non-executive director appointments at the Star Entertainment Group, Ms Ward occupied the same position at the major gambling operator’s competitor in Australia, Crown Resorts. She was named as one of the new non-executive directors amid the massive executive purge at Crown Resorts that faced the negative findings of Commissioner Bergin’s report. As Casino Guardian previously reported, the report of Commissioner Bergin found the Australian gambling giant unfit to keep its operating licence in the state of New South Wales (NSW).
However, after the completion of the acquisition deal with Blackstone as a result of which Crown Resorts became part of the US equity firm’s assets, Anne Ward retired from her non-executive director position at the operator. Right before the official announcement, she revealed that she was looking forward to becoming part of The Star Entertainment’s board of directors.
The other addition to the Star’s board of directors – David Foster – has been one of the pioneers in financial services, with more than 25 years of experience in the sector, including 5 years spent in the position of Chief Executive Officer at Suncorp Bank. Mr Foster has confirmed his appointment as a non-executive director at the Star Entertainment Group, saying he would work hard to increase the value for the shareholders of the company. He also shared his willingness to participate and contribute to the ongoing organisational changes in the Australian gambling giant.
New Non-Executive Director Appointments Take Place amid Regulatory Action against the Star Entertainment
Recently, The Star Entertainment has faced some regulatory enforcement action against its operations.
As previously reported by Casino Guardian, the state of Queensland rolled out a probe in the gambling operator’s casino venues in Brisbane and the Gold Coast over initial allegations of criminal activities that have been allowed by the Star Entertainment into its facilities. The competent regulatory bodies and authorities in Queensland are set to examine a number of arrangements of the company with so-called junket operators through which many affluent Chinese nationals were given the opportunity to enter the country and gamble at the casinos owned and operated by the Star Entertainment.
The authorities will investigate the use of China UnionPay (CUP) credit cards not only at the Star Entertainment’s casinos, but also at Crown Melbourne which was also accused of the same transgressions. As explained by the former Court of Appeal judge Robert Gotterson, the operations of the Star Sydney raised concerns following a number of allegations and presented evidence.
Apart from the investigation, the Gold Coast establishment of the company is undergoing a massive expansion that is considered a milestone for the second 63-floor hotel. According to a report by The Star Entertainment, all 457 apartments available in the facility have already been sold, with about 50% of them being purchased by local investors.
Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.