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New Zealand’s Secretary of the Department of Internal Affairs has applied to suspend SkyCity’s casino licence for an estimated 10 days.
The application was made to the country’s Gambling Commission under section 144(a) of New Zealand’s Gambling Act.
Under this section, the secretary has the right to apply to the Commission to have a casino licence suspended if the secretary believes New Zealand’s Gambling Act, or the licence conditions, have been breached.
The application concerns subsidiary SkyCity Casino Management Limited (SCML). SCML controls SkyCity’s operator licence for the SkyCity Auckland, SkyCity Hamilton and SkyCity Queenstown locations in New Zealand.
Incidences of continuous play
The application stems from a complaint made to the Department in February 2022 by a former SkyCity Auckland customer. The customer gambled at the Auckland casino from August 2017 to February 2021.
The secretary states that SCML did not “comply with requirements” outlined in its SkyCity Auckland Host Responsibility Programme. This, says the secretary, is in relation to “detection of incidences of continuous play by the customer”.
The Commission will now decide whether to issue SCML with a licence suspension. This could see the Commission consider written submissions and potentially carrying out a hearing into the matter. This could be a months-long process.
In a statement, SkyCity said it would not comment further on the matter.
“SkyCity will fully cooperate with the secretary in relation to the application and process,” read the statement. “Given that the application is before the Commission it would be inappropriate for SkyCity to comment further on the application and allegations at this stage.”
Another bump in the road for SkyCity
This is just the latest issue for SkyCity in what has been an eventful year for the casino operator. In December 2022, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) launched federal proceedings against SkyCity. This occurred due to anti-money laundering (AML) failings at SkyCity Adelaide.
In May, SkyCity launched a review into its counter-terrorist financing and AML programmes as ordered by Consumer and Business Services, the gaming regulator for South Australia.
Last month, SkyCity announced that it had made a provision of AU$45m ahead of an assumed civil penalty from Austrac.
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