The complaint relates to a potential breach of the operator’s responsible gambling responsibilities regarding continuous play of a customer at SkyCity Auckland between August 2017 and February 2021.
The complaint was made in February 2022 and SkyCity has been informed by the Department of Internal Affairs that the secretary of the department has made an application to New Zealand’s Gambling Commission to suspend SkyCity’s casino licence for a period “in the range of 10 days”.
The casino licence is for SkyCity Auckland, SkyCity Queenstown and SkyCity Hamilton.
A suspension of gaming at these three properties would not impact the operation of hotels, restaurants and in-house attractions including Weta Workshop Unleashed and the All Blacks Experience. However, the closure of gaming would likely have a multi-million-dollar impact on the revenue and profits of SkyCity Entertainment Group, which is also the owner of the under-construction New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) and the associated Horizon Hotel in Auckland, as well as the hotel Eos by SkyCity in Adelaide, which includes a considerable event space offering.
SkyCity says it will “cooperate fully” with the application to suspend its licence in New Zealand and that it is “committed to maintaining the highest standards of host responsibility”.
The outcome of the application to suspend SkyCity’s licence may not be known for several months.
SkyCity is also facing problems in Australia, with the nation’s financial crimes watchdog AUSTRAC taking it to court over alleged breaches of its anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing responsibilities. SkyCity has already indicated that it has put aside $45 million for a potential penalty arising from the AUSTRAC case.
Australia’s major casino operators, The Star Entertainment Group and Crown Resorts have both been hit with major penalties due to breaches of their anti-money laundering and counter financial terrorism responsibilities.