SkyCity Entertainment Group, a leading casino corporation in Oceania, is facing legal consequences once again following recent problem gambling and money laundering allegations. The company is set to appear before the High Court on February 16, 2024 for five separate legal actions relating to allegations of breaching Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) laws.
The allegations stem from the company’s operation of the SkyCity Auckland, SkyCity Hamilton, and SkyCity Queenstown casinos in New Zealand. This comes in the wake of an agreement reached between SkyCity and Australian authorities over the alleged breach of AML and CFT laws at its Adelaide casino property, resulting in a $75 million fine.
The Australian State Department of Internal Affairs is reportedly taking over the managerial position in SkyCity as investigations into the company’s Adelaide casino license continue. Additionally, the New Zealand Gambling Commission is looking into a complaint about a breach of host responsibility committed between August 2017 and February 2021.
SkyCity has acknowledged the significant compliance issues raised by the New Zealand authorities and stated that they have been working to address these issues since late 2021. The company has made significant investments in people and technology and conducted various reviews of its processes and systems to identify areas requiring improvement.
In a statement, SkyCity expressed its disappointment in failing to meet the required standards and emphasized its constructive engagement with the Internal Affairs Department to resolve the issues in an expeditious manner. The company refrained from further comments due to the matter being before the court.
Overall, the five claims filed against SkyCity Entertainment Group are estimated to potentially result in a maximum liability of around $8 million. It remains to be seen how the company will navigate these legal challenges and the impact they will have on its operations in Oceania.