Star VIP discount program suspended ‘until further notice’

The Star Entertainment Group has said it will suspend its high roller “rebate” scheme until it resolves probity issues revealed in a damning public inquiry into its Sydney casino.

“The Board of Directors has decided to immediately suspend domestic and international player discount programs at all of its casinos until further notice,” The Star said in an ASX statement on Monday morning.

The Star Entertainment Group has announced that it is suspending its VIP discount program “until further notice”. Credit:Louise Kennerley

“The Star will work with gaming regulators to address various risks identified through ongoing reviews of systems and processes.”

Casinos use “rebate” programs to attract spendthrift VIPs to their tables, meaning the player receives a kickback on every dollar wagered.

The ongoing NSW investigation, which was triggered by reporting in this masthead, looked into The Star’s lax anti-money laundering checks, poor due diligence by ultra-wealthy gamblers and its misuse of China cards UnionPay in the VIP sector.

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The Star said the decision would not have a material impact on FY22 earnings.

On Friday afternoon, the company announced that three of its top executives had resigned after coming under intense scrutiny during the NSW inquiry.

The departure of Chief Financial Officer Harry Theodore, NSW Casino Director Greg Hawkins, and Chief Legal and Risk Officer, and Company Secretary Paula Martin, comes after chief executive Matt Bekier resigned in March after the first two weeks explosives of the investigation.

The government inquiry began its final week of scheduled hearings on Monday, with Star’s board due to give evidence beginning with non-executive director Richard Sheppard.

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