John O’Neill resigning as Executive Chairman for The Star Entertainment Group Limited

Home » John O’Neill resigning as Executive Chairman for The Star Entertainment Group Limited

In Australia and the Executive Chairman for casino operator The Star Entertainment Group Limited has announced that he will be stepping down ahead of his scheduled appearance before an ongoing New South Wales license suitability inquiry.

According to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the move from John O’Neill (pictured) comes as an official probe is looking into his company’s fitness to hold a gambling license for The Star Sydney property. The source detailed that this exercise being led by prominent local attorney Adam Bell has already uncovered evidence that the firm had disguised casino-related transactions so as to circumvent China’s strict controls on the movement of capital and misrepresented its relationship with controversial junket giant Suncity Group.

Considerable consequences:

The Star Entertainment Group Limited is also responsible for The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane venues in Queensland and is hoping to premiere that state’s $2.3 billion Queens Wharf Brisbane development by the summer of next year. However, the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority-sanctioned examination could reportedly scupper this plan after moreover hearing how the Sydney-listed operator’s international VIP head had pilfered more than $9.44 million in cash before ‘disappearing’ in 2020.

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Short-lived surrogate:

For its part and The Star Entertainment Group Limited used an official filing (pdf) to declare that O’Neill has yet to set an official departure date but intends to ‘transition his chair and executive responsibilities in an orderly manner.’ The 71-year-old former boss of the Football Australia and Rugby Australia assumed the casino operator’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer roles on an interim basis last month following the earlier departure of long-time company boss Matt Bekier.

Read the filing from The Star Entertainment Group Limited…

“Interim arrangements will be announced once finalized. A search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer was commenced last month.”

Executive exodus:

O’Neill’s departure reportedly comes some two weeks after the Brisbane-headquartered firm disclosed the resignation of its Chief Financial Officer, Harry Theodore, as well as the analogous exit of its Chief Casino Officer, Greg Hawkins. These posts were later purportedly filled on an interim basis by Christina Katsibouba and Geoff Hogg respectively with Jennie Yuen staying on to serve as the operator’s Company Secretary following her appointment from the end of last July.

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Probable pump:

For its part and The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported that O’Neill became the Executive Chairman for The Star Entertainment Group Limited in 2012 and is still slated to appear before the license suitability probe. The newspaper asserted that the experienced executive will likely be asked why he objected to the language and tone contained within a 2018 warning from auditor KPMG regarding the unsuitability of the anti-money laundering controls at the 351-room The Star Sydney.

new south walesthe star sydneymatt bekierthe star entertainment group limitedgeoff hoggjohn oneilladam belllicense suitabilitychristina katsiboubajennie yuen

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