In Australia and local casino operator The Star Entertainment Group Limited has announced the voluntary engagement of an independent monitor to oversee its ‘renewal program’ and ensure that it is abiding by the rules of various state regulators.

The Sydney-listed firm used an official Wednesday press release (pdf) to declare that it has hired Allen and Overy Consulting ‘to monitor the design and implementation’ of a course that is being executed so as to ‘guide an uplift to risk, compliance and culture’. This move comes as the Brisbane-headquartered company is expecting to receive the results of a special New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority-sanctioned review into its suitability to hold a casino license for its 351-room The Star Sydney facility.

Subsequent scrutiny:

The Star Entertainment Group Limited is also responsible for The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane venues in Queensland and is hoping to premiere that state’s $2.8 billion Queens Wharf Brisbane development by the second half of next year. However, the operator is furthermore being similarly investigated by the government of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk over allegations that it may have been complicit in multiple instances of money laundering and fraud.

Above-board aim:

Ben Heap serves as the Interim Chairman for The Star Entertainment Group Limited and he proclaimed that the Allen and Overy Consulting-assisted exercise will moreover enable his company to ‘facilitate transparent reporting’ on the progress of any coming regulator-mandated alterations to the way it operates. The experienced professional asserted that his firm is now looking forward to ‘working with our various regulators’ and remains ‘committed to continuous improvement through our renewal program.’

Exemplary guidance:

The move from The Star Entertainment Group Limited follows the company’s hiring late last month of Scott Wharton (pictured) to serve as its Transformation Group Head and Chief Executive Officer for its The Star Sydney property. This former Citigroup and Commonwealth Bank of Australia executive will now be in charge of leading the casino firm’s ‘renewal program’ and its transformation office so as to introduce a series of initiatives to improve corporate culture, governance, training, risk and compliance systems with particular respect to state-mandated anti-money laundering and know-your-customer obligations.

Read a statement from Heap…

“The renewal program will deliver immediate and medium-term outcomes focused on governance, culture, training, systems and technology initiatives. This is an important program of work for The Star Entertainment Group Limited and early elements of the program are well underway. We will report to relevant regulatory authorities on progress transparently including through the independent monitor where that is appropriate.”