The Star inquiry allegations ‘extraordinary,’ says special manager

Home » The Star inquiry allegations ‘extraordinary,’ says special manager

The Star Sydney’s special manager has labelled alleged revelations that former CEO Robbie Cooke and current chair David Foster attempted to oust him from his role “extraordinary.”

Nicholas Weeks, who was appointed in October 2022 by the New South Wales Independent Casino Commission after The Star Sydney was stripped of its casino licence, was speaking on the first day of the wide-reaching inquiry into practices at the company.

As reported by the Financial Review, emails and text messages between Foster and Cooke about Weeks were read out in the hearing, which is being led by Adam Bell, SC. The pair are alleged to have considered a class action from shareholders against Weeks.

Weeks said: “It’s difficult to reconcile everything that the company has told me and everything it tells the market and the regulator in relation to its motivations to reform.

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“I find it extraordinary that the chairman of a listed company and a CEO exchanging messages contemplating a class action from shareholders against me personally … where their public position … is that they’re working co-operatively.”

Foster allegedly wrote to Cook that the pair were “meeting Monday to get ready for war,” relating to a meeting Weeks was scheduled to attend.

“If done right, it could be a catalyst to get rid of Weeks,” Foster wrote in another correspondence.

The Financial Review said Weeks has alleged that The Star had access to his diary and appointments between him and the regulator.

Elsewhere on the first day of The Star inquiry, Weeks alleged that the company’s backlog of customers – totalling over 32,000 – was sped through without factoring in source of wealth checks.

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Cooke stepped down in March over the belief that the company will fail to navigate its regulatory storm with him at the helm.

The company said Cooke and the board have formed the view that Cooke staying on “was not going to be conducive to the NSW Independent Casino Commission determining to find The Star capable of becoming suitable to hold a casino licence in New South Wales.”

Foster, who is set to appear at the inquiry as well as Cooke, said upon Cooke’s resignation that The Star remains “absolutely committed to being judged suitable to hold a casino licence in New South Wales and Queensland.”

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