The Star remains cautious following Crown arrests

Star Entertainment Group chief executive Matt Bekier says the company is being “cautious” following the arrest of Crown Resorts staff in China.

“Because there is a lot of misinformation and very little reliable information, everybody is extremely cautious and that goes for us and some of our customers,” Bekier told The Australian after the company’s annual general meeting on Friday.

The chief executive said the company has done everything to make sure it was compliant with local laws, but when an incident such as the Crown arrests occurred, it would be unwise not to ask whether there could be more that could be done to reduce the company’s risk.

“We are certainly thinking very hard about that right now,” he said.

Bekier said he was surprised by the market reaction, after shares in The Star slumped around 13.5 per cent in the aftermath of Crown arrests.

However, the casino boss added The Star has, for sometime, been pushing its South East Asia business, targeting mass market customers.

“So there is a greater diversity of players and sources of players that we can market to,” he said.

At the annual general meeting on Friday, The Star told its shareholders that its VIP business delivered less than 30 percent of the group’s gross revenue and 16 percent of EBITDA. Chairman John O’Neill said around 80 per cent of that revenue was derived from junkets out of Asia.

“These are early days in terms of the situation in China,” Mr O’Neill said.

“We will continue to monitor developments closely, while working with staff and Asian-based external agents to understand the situation more fully as it unfolds.”