One of Star Entertainment’s directors believes that changes to its board are needed to fix the company and regain public and shareholder trust. She announced her plans to resign from her position.
The investigation of Star Entertainment continues. An inquiry of Star’s business revealed many shortcomings when it comes to compliance. The company failed to prevent organized crime and money laundering. Additionally, it allowed a suspicious Chinese junket to run an unlicensed gambling cage on the premises of its Sydney casino. Because of that, Star now risks losing its license.
Sally Pitkin is one of the company’s directors who recognize that Star’s compliance efforts fell short. On Friday, she spoke with Adam Bell, a senior counsel who leads the inquiry. Pitkin made it evident that she is devastated by what has happened to the company. She blamed the executives’ indifference to money laundering for the majority of Star’s problems.
Pitkin revealed that Star Entertainment’s executives were quick to disobey the rules when they had something to gain from it. She said that her company’s business officers would often breach regulations to make sure Star doesn’t fall behind Crown Resorts. The latter is Star’s main competitor, which incidentally was also under scrutiny for being incompliant.
Pitkin Plans to Resign as Board Changes Are Needed
Pitkin and Bell also discussed Star Entertainment’s relations with shady Asia-based businesses. According to certain findings, Star provided fake source of funds documents to Macau’s Bank of China – something Pitkin considers to be “totally inappropriate.”
Speaking about Huang Xiangmo, Pitkin admitted that she knew about the man but wasn’t fully aware of how much he spent at the casino. She claims that she only learned about the full extent of his contribution when preparing for the inquiry. For reference, Xiangmo is a Chinese billionaire who spent over a billion dollars in the casino but was later accused of being a foreign agent.
There isn’t one single person who is to blame for Star’s woes. Despite that, Pitkin admitted that the board of directors did not do its job properly and allowed for the aforementioned things to happen. She will take responsibility and will likely leave the board before the end of the financial year. Her move mirrors the resignation of Matt Bekier and other notable executives. Pitkin added that other directors will also leave when it’s appropriate.
As the inquiry continues, more and more curious facts resurge. One of the recent findings showed that a former VP ran away with $10 million.
The investigators will next question Katie Lahey and John O’Neill, two other board members.