Australia’s Star Entertainment hires Tyro head as CEO, shares rise

Australia’s Star Entertainment (SGR.AX) appointed Tyro Payments (TYR.AX) head Robert Cooke as its chief executive on Wednesday, saying his experience in the financial services industry would help steer it through a period of intense regulatory scrutiny.

Shares of Star Entertainment, the country’s No.2 casino operator, climbed 2.4% to hit their highest in nearly three weeks after having fallen 28% so far this year, while Tyro plunged more than 20% to touch a record low of A$0.620.

Cooke’s appointment comes three months after Matt Bekier stepped down as Star Entertainment’s CEO in the wake of multiple inquiries over possible breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws at the company’s casinos.

“There are challenges for The Star that have been well documented. They will be my priority and focus,” Cooke said.

In a separate statement, Tyro said Cooke had served a six-month notice period, stating that he would step down as the payments terminal provider’s CEO.

Earlier this month, Queensland launched an investigation to review Star Entertainment’s suitability for a licence after an inquiry in neighbouring state New South Wales accused the casino operator of allowing breaches of anti-money laundering protocols at its Sydney resort.