Casino group Star awards executive bonuses while pocketing JobKeeper


Casino group Star Entertainment has handed its top executives $1.4 million worth of bonuses despite missing their annual financial targets while pocketing $9.6 million in Jobkeeper subsidies to cover staff wages.

The Star revealed on Wednesday it paid its chief executive Matt Bekier $2.3 million for the 2020 financial year, down from $3.3 million a year earlier and $4.4 million in 2018.

The Star Casino in Sydney was forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Star Casino in Sydney was forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Credit:Louise Kennerley

Mr Bekier’s base salary fell by $173,000 to $1.55 million after he took a 40 per cent pay cut when COVID-19 forced the group to shut its casinos in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast and stand down 95 per cent of its 9000 workers.

But Star awarded Mr Bekier a bonus of $829,872 in deferred shares among $1.4 million given to the group’s top five executives, according to Star’s annual report. The bonuses were paid in equity to “preserve cash” and be available after a year if the executives stay with the company, the report says.