The Star Entertainment Group CEO Robbie Cooke has outlined the company’s plans to “rethink, reshape and reimagine” its future, admitting that defining the past year as challenging “completely understates” the lived experience of its employees.
David Foster, The Star’s chairman, added at the company’s AGM on Thursday that it is “committed to fundamental change.”
Cooke said a draft remediation plan is with the Australian regulators pending approval but said action to repair the damage the group has faced in the past year is already underway.
The Star has expanded its anti-money laundering team from 26 to 121 full-time employees and its safer gambling team now has 83 staff, up from 18.
The company’s remediation plan, meanwhile, sets out around 640 remediation milestones across 15 workstreams, which will be implemented over several years.
The Star has faced a troublesome year including in New South Wales, where it has faced the suspension of its licence, the appointment of a manager and an AU$100m fine.
The issuance of show cause notices was followed by another $100m penalty and four class actions have been merged into one, alongside AUSTRAC launching proceedings against The Star.
Star chiefs want better future
Foster told the AGM: “What I can assure you of is that we have committed to fundamental change. Resetting behaviours and ways of operation were imperatives for this new board and the kanagement team.
“All the non-executive directors here today, and our group CEO and kanaging director, joined the board during FY23. Our latest board member, Toni Thornton, joined the board last month after receiving all regulatory approvals.
“It is our responsibility to take this company forward. What has gone before cannot happen again. Society, our regulators, our governments and you, our shareholders, demand it.”
Cooke, who had only been CEO for five weeks at the time of last year’s AGM, admitted the business has faced “some quite extraordinary issues” since then.
“Importantly, the events of the last year reinforce the critical need for us to rethink, reshape and reimagine the future for The Star,” he said.
“We are on a journey to restore our suitability and to earn back trust – that will take time, but we are committed to being a better company, operating with the highest levels of integrity in all that we do.”