Star Entertainment chairman steps down amid inquiry

Star Entertainment chairman steps down amid inquiry

Star Entertainment chairman steps down amid inquiry

David Foster, executive chairman of Star Entertainment, will temporarily resign from leading Adelaide Bank and Bendigo.

The decision was made in response to indications of division within the leadership group and insufficient supervision throughout the Sydney casino investigation.

Adam Bell, SC, the inquiry’s lead investigator, is awaiting an explanation for the postponed release of information pertaining to Christina Katsibouba, the former chief financial officer of the casino. Without giving a reason, Mr. Foster requested a brief leave of absence from his role as chairman of Bendigo. Vicki Carter will be taking over in the interim.

Prior to the investigation, Ms. Katsibouba made a number of claims, including that Robbie Cooke, the former CEO, had concealed from executives Star’s actual debt situation as well as the supervisor’s evaluation, which was assigned by the government. She further stated that after a malfunctioning terminal repeatedly paid out winnings, she was urged to tamper with the company’s accounting.

The investigation was put on hold when the group’s solicitors offered a significant amount of Ms. Katsibouba-related documents, while their contents remained confidential. Mr. Bell wanted to know why the submission was made at that particular time so he could determine if Star violated any laws.

Subsequently, Betty Ivanoff, the former chief legal officer, testified before Mr. Bell as a fourth witness, claiming that Mr. Cooke frequently sought legal assistance from outside firms without informing her. The executive team, according to Ms. Ivanoff, is not operating effectively; meetings are “railroaded” and secretive.

George Hughes, chief product and customer officer, voiced his worries regarding the company’s dealings with high rollers who are VIPs, claiming that there were insufficient procedures in place for detection and prevention in order to comply with regulatory standards. Furthermore, he asserted that Mr. Cooke showed little interest in learning about his intentions to modify the VIP program

Star could get its license permanently removed, which can potentially impact on thousands of jobs, if the investigation concludes that it is unsuitable.

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