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Star Sydney CEO Scott Wharton announces resignation after eight months

Star Sydney CEO Scott Wharton has stepped down less than a year after being appointed to oversee the troubled casino and hotel complex.

Wharton will remain in that role until April 28, when he will join workforce management services company Smartgroup in July as CEO and Managing Director on a $1 million salary package.

During his time at The Star, Mr. Wharton oversaw the company’s updates to governance and culture.

It comes after a tumultuous time for its parent company, The Star Entertainment Group (SEG).

The organization’s Sydney casino reported a loss of $1 billion in the first half of its financial year.

SEG came under fire last year following money laundering allegations that sparked an investigation by the NSW Independent Casino Commission (NSWICC), and Australian business watchdog ASIC announced in December that past and current directors filed a lawsuit against

Last year, the NSWICC found that SEG was unfit to hold a casino license in Sydney and that the group, which also has venues in Queensland, was “rotten to the core”.

Fined SEG $100 million and suspended license.

Financial statements released in February showed Star Sydney reporting a loss of $1 billion in the first half of the financial year.(AAP: James Gorey)

Wharton’s resignation has renewed doubts about whether NSW’s new government will pursue the casino tax hike announced by his predecessor.

The Star had warned ahead of last month’s state elections that it faced a $1.6 billion hit to revenue under tax increases written into the budget by the coalition.

During the campaign, Daniel Mookey, a Labor Party member who took over as treasurer last week, insisted his party would not cut the star’s tax rate.

But today Prime Minister Chris Mings did not repeat that promise.

“I’m not going to speculate about future government decisions on revenue,” he said.

“Of course, there will be a better understanding of where the budget is positioned, especially in relation to revenue and potential economic impact.

In a statement to ASX today, SEG said it would begin restructuring its management team following Mr Wharton’s resignation.

SEG CEO Robbie Cooke said:

“We are committed to regaining the trust and confidence of our community and have laid an incredibly important foundation since Scott was appointed last July.”

In a statement, Wharton said he was thrilled to lead Smart Group and “build on its success.”

He also said his brief time in charge of Starr’s Sydney business was productive.

“It has been very rewarding to contribute alongside so many dedicated and hardworking leaders and team members,” he said.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-04-03/star-sydney-scott-wharton-resignation/102179012 Star Sydney CEO Scott Wharton announces resignation after eight months

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