Crown Resorts CEO Steve McCann has met with Star Entertainment CEO Matt Bekier to discuss the potential merger of the two casino operators.
In May, Star Entertainment made an unsolicited non-binding offer of AU$12bn (US$9.4bn) for Crown Resorts.
Although more details of the virtual meeting have not been released, according to local media, McCann could be willing to work on a deal and may have asked Star to provide more details about its non-bidding offer.
Star Entertainment previously said the merger would deliver between AU$150m to AU$200m of cost synergies per annum with an estimated net value of AU$2bn.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Rod Sims announced that a public review will be carried out to decide whether Star Entertainment would be allowed to make the acquisition.
Sims noted that the potential merger would result in a casino giant with operations in the main Australian states.
According to local media, Sims said: “It’s very early days. But we would look at the market for domestic table game customers and we would look at the competition between Barangaroo and Star in Sydney.”
If Crown finally accepts the offer, Crown shareholders could retain 59% of the shares while Star shareholders could own 41% of the newly-merged entity.
Star Acting Chief Executive Hogg Resigns
Geoff Hogg has tendered his resignation as Acting CEO of The Star Entertainment Group.
The operator’s board has accepted his resignation, which includes all Hogg’s other positions at The Star. A final departure date is yet to be determined, while he will work with the board to transition his executive responsibilities in an orderly manner.
Ben Heap has been appointed to the role of Executive Chairman on an interim basis, effective immediately and until the commencement of Robbie Cooke as the incoming Managing Director and CEO.
Cooke, currently serving as Managing Director of Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS) machine provider Tyro Payments, was named as the new CEO of The Star in June, but a start date has yet to be finalised.
ACMA Blocks More Illegal Offshore Gambling Websites
The ACMA has requested that Australian internet service providers (ISPs) block more illegal offshore gambling websites.
The sites include Spin Oasis, Fab Spins, RB Carnival, The GoGo Room, Velvet Spin, Zenith Slots, Slots of Wins, Latinbet24, Hell Spin, Sky Crown, Blue Leo, Wolf Winner, Bizzo Casino, Wabo88 and Ozbet88.
The ACMA investigated and found these services to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.
Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal online gambling. Since the ACMA made its first blocking request in November 2019, 614 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked.
Over 180 illegal services have also pulled out of the Australian market since the ACMA started enforcing new illegal offshore gambling rules in 2017.
IAGR ANNOUNCES DIGITAL TICKET TO UPCOMING CONFERENCE
IAGR looks forward to welcoming around 200 international gambling regulators, industry stakeholders and thought leaders to Melbourne for its conference, A Kickstart for collaboration: Sparking innovation in regulatory practice, from 17 – 20 October.
To extend the reach of the content to regulators who can’t make it to Australia, IAGR has created a ticket to access the recordings from the conference.
IAGR2022’s digital ticket provides one year’s access to the recordings. IAGR President, Dr Jason Lane, says that this way, attendees can watch the content in their time zone as many times as they like.
“For last year’s conference, we had little choice but to create a digital ticket, given so many of us were unable to travel,” says Dr Lane.
“This year, while we’re thrilled to see in-person ticket sales return to pre-pandemic numbers, we still want to offer the opportunity for as many regulators as possible to access the fantastic sessions we have lined up for Melbourne.
This year’s conference features around 40 speakers and panelists, including:
- Andrew Rhodes, CEO, Gambling Commission United Kingdom
- Professor Sally Gainsbury, Director, Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic, Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney
- Michael Morton, Senior Policy Counsel, Nevada Gaming Control Board
- Fran Thorn, Chair, Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission
- Are Bashir, Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority
“Your ticket to IAGR2022, whether you watch the recorded sessions or attend in the flesh, allows you to step back and hear from expert speakers and panel discussions on the latest research, trends, and innovative solutions.”
Head to the IAGR conference page to explore the conference program and secure a ticket.
IAGR is proud to hold this year’s conference in partnership with hosts, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission.
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