BY JAMES WILKINSON
Echo Entertainment has sacked Sid Vaikunta as The Star’s Managing Director, effective immediately.
In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange late yesterday (Feb 2), Echo Entertainment CEO Larry Mullin said Vaikunta’s “employment ended after his behaviour in a social work setting”.
Vaikunta was at the helm of The Star, formerly Star City, for just over two and a half years and led the entertainment complex through its billion-dollar overhaul that included the renaming, opening of several world-class restaurants and an expansion of gaming facilities.
According to AAP, a spokesman for NSW Gaming Minister George Souris said the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority was investigating Vaikunta’s behaviour, while it has also been reported on News Limited’s websites that the Authority has asked for a full explanation from Echo Entertainment on the American’s departure.
Mullin said Echo Entertainment had appointed Frederic Luvisutto as the new Managing Director of The Star, following his successful tenure as the MD of sister property Jupiters Gold Coast.
Luvisutto was recruited by Echo Entertainment in May 2011 following ten years of senior positions in casino hotel operations in the United States. Positions included Vice President of Hotel Operations at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, and Vice President of the Signature at the MGM Grand, also in Las Vegas.
Luvisutto’s appointment is subject to regulatory approval and until a replacement is found, Craig Peachey, currently the General Manager of Finance at Jupiters Gold Coast, will act as interim Managing Director.
Mullin said Luvisutto would “provide extensive management experience” as the property moved into an operational phase following the re-launch.
“Echo and The Star leadership team remain focused on continuing the transformation of the property into Sydney’s premiere entertainment destination,” he said.
Prior to joining The Star, Vaikunta was the Senior Vice President of Operations and Marketing at Echelon Resorts in Las Vegas, Nevada, for a year and eight months and prior to that he was the Vice President of Marketing at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa at Atlantic City in New Jersey for just under eight years.