Australian casino firm Star Entertainment inks jobs guarantee deal with NSW

By Thomson Reuters Feb 15, 2024 | 5:29 PM

(Reuters) – Star Entertainment has inked a binding deal with the New South Wales (NSW) Treasurer under revised casino duty rates framework, which would require it to maintain a minimum headcount at its Sydney operations, it said on Friday.

Under the agreement, Star Entertainment would also be required to begin a trial of cashless and carded play at its Sydney casino. That is a precursor to the reforms to be introduced in August for cashless gaming and carded play in NSW.

“The Star has agreed to maintain a minimum headcount, and certain ratios of full-time, part-time and casual employees, in respect of The Star Sydney casino until 30 June 2030,” the casino operator said.

Star Entertainment, Australia’s second-biggest casino operator, has seen its profits erode as it faced regulatory restrictions on its Sydney operations from mid-2022 as well as stiff competition from bigger rival Crown Resort.

In August last year, Star Entertainment secured concessions on casino duty rates with the NSW state and has worked on a transition plan to stabilise its operations at its Sydney casino and curb further job cuts.

“The Star appreciates the constructive engagement with the current NSW Government that has led to finalisation of an agreement that provides employment certainty,” Group Chief Executive Officer Robbie Cooke said in a statement on Friday.

The casino firm, which has lost 83.6% of its market value over the last two years, is trading about 7% higher so far in 2024.

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)