The Star must answer to a show-cause letter from the NSW gaming regulator or face $100 million in fines.
Geoff Hogg, the acting CEO of The Star Entertainment Group, resigned from his position less than three months after the troubled casino company was ruled unable to keep its NSW casino licence.
On Monday, Mr. Hogg resigned from all his duties at the gambling firm, including Queensland casino chief and acting CEO.
While Hogg’s precise leaving date is still up in the air, chairman Ben Heap will take over as executive chair until later this year, when new CEO Robbie Cooke is scheduled to start.
A thorough investigation led by Adam Bell SC discovered evidence of a serious compliance breakdown that resulted in money laundering, criminal infiltration, significant fraud, and foreign interference. Hogg’s departure also occurs just before the casino group presents its case to the NSW Independent Casino Commission on Tuesday. The Star has until Tuesday to demonstrate why its license should not be permanently canceled, before the commission decides on a penalty.
The ILGA investigation also resulted in the resignations of former CFO Harry Theodore, former Chief NSW Casino Officer Greg Hawkins, and former Chief Legal and Risk Officer and Company Secretary Paula Martin. Among the biggest culprits from the investigation were former CEO Mat Bekier and longtime chairman John O’Neill.
Hogg revealed a person who had been prohibited from gambling at NSW and Queensland land-based casinos for 15 years had subsequently been permitted to gamble at the company’s Queensland properties in his testimony to the Queensland inquiry last month, which provided additional cause for concern for the authorities.
The high roller connected to the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta mafia rose to the position of “top 10 table games player” at the casino’s Gold Coast location.
Police had already barred him from Crown Melbourne in 2014 and Star Sydney in June 2015, but Mr. Hogg claimed that without a Queensland police ban and with the knowledge The Star had, he lacked the authority to bar the customer from the casinos in the Sunshine State.
Hogg was group executive of operations at The Star before being named acting CEO, and he previously served as managing director of the business’s Queensland operations for more than ten years. The purpose of this action is to demonstrate leadership and show that The Star is capable of adaptation and change.
THE 300 SPARTANS:
After triumphing in key locations across Asia and Europe, AGS is flying 300 top affiliates to Malta, for an all-inclusive deluxe trip. The event will happen alongside SiGMA, 14-18th November, during SiGMA Europe.
Read more about the 300 Spartans here.