Culture, not ‘bad apples’, to blame at Star

“The Star may not have realized the insidious effect that its delinquent culture has had on employees like Mr White.”

Ms Horvath pointed to emails from Mr White urging that someone at Star needed to “take ownership” of a controversial casino scheme involving debit cards from Chinese financial services company China Union Pay.

A central issue has been the casino’s deployment of CUP cards. The inquiry has been told that problems with the process included sham documents, the misleading of banks and regulators, and a possible breach of casino control laws.

About $ 900 million was transacted on the cards before the scheme was shut down.

Ms Horvath said Mr White on three occasions in one month raised with at least nine other Star employees, including the chief financial officer and regulatory affairs manager, the need to consider liaising with the gaming regulator on the CUP process.

“The business instead of courting that risk,” she said.

“Those emails clearly demonstrated to Mr White and all other recipients that the business’ approach to these issues was, at a minimum, cavalier. Mr White was being told ‘this is the way we do things around here’. ”

On another occasion, Ms Horvath said her client – in emails with senior executives – twice warned that using a check-cashing facility with the CUP process might not “find favor” with the regulator, and could even break the law.

Despite the advice, she said her client was told to go ahead with the proposal.

“It simply came to our notice then. The business, not Mr White, is a matter of court that risk, ”she said.

Mr White is one of several senior managers who have left Star recently, including chief executive Matt Bekier, chief financial officer Harry Theodore, chief legal and risk officer Paula Martin, and chief casino officer Greg Hawkins.

The inquiry continues before Adam Bell SC.


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