ILGA to hold public hearings as part of The Star licence review

The New South Wales (NSW) Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) has announced that public hearings will be held as part of The Star Casino’s licence review.

The public hearings will take place early next year.

The review into The Star is currently considering how effectively the operator is complying with its statutory obligations, and whether it remains suitable to hold a casino licence. It commenced four weeks ago, with Adam Bell SC appointed by the ILGA.

Bell has advised ILGA that it is in the public’s interest to hold public hearings on matters such as The Star’s maintenance and administration of systems to counter money laundering and infiltration by organised crime. The body says it fully supports Bell’s decision.

Hearings are expected to be held in March 2022, while the publicly available report will be due to the ILGA by 30 June 2022.

The authority noted that regular reviews of casinos throughout the state are required under the Casino Control Act, with the last review of The Star conducted back in 2016 by Jonathan Horton QC.

The Star meanwhile has announced it has secured debt covenant support from its financiers for the 31 December 2021 and 30 June 2022 testing dates.

“For the 30 June 2022 testing date, The Star will be able to annualise its 2H FY2022 earnings for the purpose of calculating its financial covenant ratios and it has also received an amendment to the gearing and interest cover ratio metrics, which provide additional headroom,” a statement from the operator read.

“Other than these amendments, there are no material changes to margins or terms of existing debt facilities.”