Report 'difficult reading' for Star chair

·2-min read

The interim chairman of embattled casino operator Star has told investors and employees the casino will have to fundamentally transform its culture to stay open.

Interim chair Ben Heap said the inquiry into the casino and subsequent report by Adam Bell SC made for "difficult reading".

"The people of NSW placed their trust in us as the holder of a casino licence, and we have not lived up to that trust," Mr Heap said in the message, released to the ASX on Thursday afternoon.

"It is clear from the report that we need to fundamentally transform our culture," he said.

Inquiry head Adam Bell SC found "extremely serious governance, risk management and cultural failures" had occurred at Star's Sydney casino.

Almost a billion dollars in transactions from overseas patrons were disguised as hotel expenses to thwart Chinese capital flight laws, and Star misled banks about the practice.

A junket operator likely linked to organised crime was also able to run a secret "casino inside a casino".

The Star breached its casino licence and operating procedures numerous times and repeatedly misled and concealed information from the regulator, the Bell report found.

"The performance of Star has been absolutely horrendous," Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Wednesday.

Star is working to respond to a show cause notice from the recently established NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) as to why it should be allowed to stay open.

Mr Heap said the company is determined to urgently address the serious matters raised by Mr Bell's report and NICC chief commissioner Philip Crawford.

The company is also developing a comprehensive, multi-year "renewal plan" to serve as a roadmap for improving governance, culture and controls.

Mr Heap has promised change.

"I accept that there have been times we've been arrogant and closed off to criticism," he said.

"That will not be the case in the future."

The company has introduced stronger controls, enhanced its compliance efforts, made additions to its board and is working to rebuild its senior leadership team.

The board of Star was painted as largely unaware of scandals, which were kept from them by senior management, although they also lacked curiosity about some of the goings-on at the casino.

Star has also hired a new chief risk officer and separated its risk management team from its legal team.