Star posts a $9m half-year profit despite ongoing legal woes

Star posts a $9m half-year profit despite ongoing legal woes
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Star Entertainment Group has posted a net profit after tax of $9m for the first half of the 2024 financial year despite legal problems plaguing the casino group.

    Star Sydney’s gambling licence has once again come at risk as the NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) ordered another inquiry into the property. Despite this, the group reported an earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization of $114m for 1H24.

    The company attributed the revenue and earnings at all it properties to the implementation of “necessary uplift in the control environment.”

    Star argued that this resulted in an increased number of guest exclusions and reflected the introduction of time play management of guests, higher levels of risk and compliance resourcing, higher remediation costs and increased competition together with a weaker discretionary spending environment.

    Star Group CEO and managing director, Robbie Cooke, said his company has achieved a number of significant milestones despite the challenging regulatory environment.

    “The Group’s Remediation Plan was approved in Queensland. The resolution of the proposed increase to NSW casino duty rates has removed significant uncertainty for our Sydney property and has protected thousands of jobs for our team members in New South Wales,” Cooke said. Despite the group’s achievements, Cooke admits there is “still much work to be done.”

    “Remediation remains our number one priority,” he said. “We continue to uplift our risk management, safer gambling and AML capabilities and are starting to embed greater accountability and more robust governance. We have invested in enhancing our control environments and are operationalising and embedding these controls. We are improving our financial crime management and have commenced the introduction of significant harm minimisation measures. Our remediation program will track and hold us accountable to the multi-year program we are committed to delivering.

    Going forward, Star said it is looking to keep focusing on its remediation plan and to continue focusing on safer gambling along with a culture transformation.

    The swing back to profit follows a $1.26b loss for the same period in the 2023 financial year. This poor result came amid a class action law suit from shareholders and the suspension of Star Sydney’s casino licence.

    Featured Image: Star Sydney – iStock/kokkai

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