Former Crown Resorts CEO Steve McCann Appointed as Head, The Star Entertainment

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Star Entertainment Group has secured former Crown Resorts CEO Steve McCann to lead the struggling casino operator starting July 8, following weeks of negotiations. McCann, who guided Crown Resorts through its acquisition by Blackstone, already holds probity approval and is one of the few senior executives whose reputation has remained intact over the past four years of industry turmoil.

McCann will receive a $2.5 million sign-on bonus and could earn up to $10 million in bonuses by the end of the 2026 financial year. In accepting the new position, McCann has resigned from the board of Scentre Group, the owner of Westfield shopping centres, effective immediately.

As the former head of Lendlease, McCann’s primary tasks will include navigating The Star’s uncertain future, particularly with its NSW casino’s license status pending. He will also oversee the transition to cashless gaming at Star Sydney by August and refinance debt on a joint project with Far East Consortium and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises to develop the $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane precinct in Queensland.

The Star issued a sobering update on Monday, revealing that trading across its three casinos remains down due to a lack of high rollers. Additionally, the company’s earnings have been impacted by increased regulatory compliance costs.

The Star now projects up to $1.68 billion in total revenue for its Queensland and NSW casinos this financial year, down from $1.8 billion in 2023, which was previously considered the business’s low point. The company is also awaiting a multimillion-dollar penalty from AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre) for anti-money laundering breaches exposed in 2021.

McCann acknowledged the significant challenges facing The Star and expressed his readiness to address them.