The SkyCity Entertainment Group, a major casino corporation in Oceania, is facing legal consequences yet again after recent allegations of problem gambling and money laundering. The company, which operates several casinos in New Zealand, including SkyCity Auckland, SkyCity Hamilton, and SkyCity Queenstown, is set to appear before the High Court in February 2024 to address five separate legal actions related to allegations of violating the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Act.
This legal action comes on the heels of an agreement reached with Australian authorities regarding alleged breaches of AML and CFT laws at the company’s Adelaide casino, which resulted in a $75 million fine. Ongoing investigations by Australian state authorities into SkyCity’s Adelaide casino license, as well as a complaint about a breach of host responsibility in New Zealand between 2017 and 2021, are adding to the company’s legal woes.
In response to these allegations, SkyCity has stated that it has been actively addressing compliance issues since late 2021, investing in people and technology, and conducting reviews of its processes and systems. The company acknowledged its disappointment in failing to meet the required standards and expressed its commitment to engaging constructively with the Internal Affairs Department to resolve the issues in a timely manner.
However, SkyCity refrained from making further comments, citing the upcoming court proceedings. It is estimated that the five claims filed against the company could result in a maximum liability of around $8 million in total. The company’s legal troubles highlight the increasing pressure on casinos to comply with AML and CFT regulations, as well as the potential financial repercussions of failing to do so.