Former Star CEO Cooke defends pushing back on regulator due to “one way street” negotiations

Former Star CEO Cooke defends pushing back on regulator due to “one way street” negotiations

Article brief provided by Inside Asian Gaming
  • Ben Blaschke, Inside Asian Gaming
April 24, 2024 3:05 PM
  • Ben Blaschke, Inside Asian Gaming

Former Star Entertainment Group CEO Robbie Cooke has told an inquiry into the company’s suitability to retain its Sydney casino license that negotiations with the state’s casino license were a “one way street” and pushback was necessary to address matters of disagreement.

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In lengthy testimony given to the inquiry on Wednesday at which he was at times defensive and even combative, Cooke was grilled about a response he had prepared in January to the findings of a report by the Manager appointed to oversee Star’s remediation efforts on the company’s progress.

That report, delivered by Manager Nicholas Weeks last December, had identified a number of deficiencies in that progress but was met with opposition from Cooke and Star, whose response took issue with many of Weeks’ observations. It has been suggested throughout the inquiry that the tone of the response was “confrontational”.