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NSW inquiry slams The Star as being ‘leaderless and depleted’ and not fit to operate independently

By - 13 May 2024

Barristers carrying out the NSW inquiry into The Star Entertainment Group have said the company is not fit to operate its Sydney casino independently saying it was currently ‘leaderless and depleted.’

Caspar Conde, who oversaw the majority of the inquiry for Adam Bell, SC, said it was apparent the casino operator hadn’t progressed since Bell first found it unfit to operate in October 2022.

Mr Conde said: “There’s evidence of The Star Entertainment Group being six months into their remediation journey, but they’re not 20 months in. The remaining 14 months have been lost. The current vacancies in the group leadership team do present opportunities but the question is whether opportunity is taken. In the suitability review, we submit that actual conduct and factual developments will tend to be more important than opportunities and words. The inquiry is entitled to look at the history of not taking opportunities. That does raise, the 14 lost months as relevant

He added that not one witness had put forward a case for the Star to operate without some sort of external supervision.

“The sort of criminals who can put together a racket of that kind in a short space of time, conduct 1800 transactions and extract $3.16m, they’re just not the sort of people who should be anywhere near the casino,” Mr. Conde added.

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