Follow by Email

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Minister awaits word on Star casino - 7th February 2012

NSW Hospitality Minister George Souris has declined to express confidence in Sydney's The Star after the casino's operator was ordered to explain the CEO's sacking.

The Casino Control Authority is considering the casino's explanation of the events that led to the sacking of its CEO, Sid Vaikunta, amid claims of inappropriate behaviour.

Asked if he had confidence in the way the casino has operated, Mr Souris on Tuesday told reporters: "I would prefer not to make those comments right now".

However, he said, he did have confidence in a licensing report handed down last year.

"The licence has been renewed," he said.

"To the extent that I had confidence in the report that I was given and the announcement that I made at the time before Christmas ... those feelings have not abated.

"But, in the light of information that has now come with the departure of the managing director, then this is grounds for further investigation.

"We await the outcome of proceedings and finally an outcome of a report or recommendations."

Last Thursday, the CEO of the casino's operator Echo Entertainment, Larry Mullin, said Mr Vaikunta's employment at the casino had ended because of "his behaviour in a social work setting".

Fairfax on Tuesday reported that previous investigations had warned of a culture of drug and alcohol abuse amongst senior casino management, as well as concerns about how the casino dealt with criminal activity on the premises.