Geoff Hogg has resigned as acting chief executive officer of The Star Entertainment Group only three months after having been appointed to that position. He submitted his resignation just days after the New South Wales Independent Casino Commission (NICC) issued a show cause notice questioning the suitability of the gambling and entertainment company to have a gaming license due to its improper activities in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The board of The Star accepted his resignation.
Hogg’s Positions at The Star
Hogg resigned from all the positions he held at The Star. He was appointed acting CEO on June 1, 2022. Prior to that, he held different senior management roles at the gambling organization, being responsible for its operations at The Star Gold Coast, The Star Sydney, the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, and Treasury Brisbane. Hogg also served as managing director Queensland at The Star Entertainment Group for more than 10 years. He will cooperate with the board to transition his responsibilities accordingly.
Robbie Cooke Appointed CEO at The Star
Ben Heap, chairman at The Star, will serve temporarily as CEO until Robbie Cooke takes up the position later this year. The Star has not determined yet the start date of Cooke, who currently serves as managing director at Tyro Payments (ASX: TYR). Heap has declined to receive any further remuneration while acting as The Star’s CEO.
The appointment of Cooke at the gambling company comes after mass resignations from seniors and executives earlier this year. Matt Bekier stepped down as chief executive officer. Former chief financial officer Harry Theodore, chief legal and risk officer Paula Martin, NSW chief casino officer Greg Hawkins, and chairman John O’Neill also left their positions at the company following the release of the report by Adam Bell SC on September 13.
A Report Issued on The Star’s Wrongdoings
Per Bell’s report, the casino group was involved in money laundering activities, as well as foreign interference, criminal infiltration, and large-scale fraud. The Bell report stated also that the casino group allowed a criminal, who had been banned from gambling at NSW and Queensland casinos for 15 years, to play at its Queensland properties. The Star was unsuitable to hold a gaming license, as per Bell’s report. NICC issued The Star a show cause notice to respond to why it should not lose its license or face fines up to $100 million.
Even though Hogg was not the CEO of the gambling group at the time of the wrongdoing described in the report, experts said that he would probably have to resign from his positions at the company to show regulatory authorities The Star was talking seriously about reforms.