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Following the recent problem gambling and money laundering allegations that costed SkyCity Entertainment Group millions of dollars, a leading casino corporation in Oceania is facing legal consequences again. The latest civil case involving the company and referring to the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Act will reportedly see the Australian State Department of Internal Affairs taking the managerial position in SkyCity.
Five Separate Legal Actions Filed:
SkyCity Entertainment Group holds casino licenses to operate the SkyCity Auckland, SkyCity Hamilton, and SkyCity Queenstown casinos in New Zealand. As RNZ reports, the company is to appear before the High Court on February 16, 2024 to attend the hearings on five separate legal actions on the AML and CFT allegations. The action is requested a week after SkyCity reached an agreement with Australian authorities about the alleged breach of the AML and CFT laws related to its casino property at Adelaide. According to the source, the company paid a $75 million fine within the scope of the agreement.
The same source reports that this case is still open as Australian state authorities continue investigations into SkyCity’s Adelaide casino license. At the same time, the New Zealand Gambling Commission investigates into a complaint about a breach of host responsibility committed between August 2017 and February 2021. SkyCity reportedly stated that the allegations from the New Zealand competent authorities include significant compliance issues. As reported, these issues are considered rather – but not exclusively – historical. SkyCity reportedly said in a statement: “Some matters relate to incidents of non-compliance which have previously been self-reported to the department.”
The company also stated that it had been addressing those issues since late 2021, according to RNZ. “This has involved, and continues to involve, significant investment in people and technology, and various reviews of SkyCity’s processes and systems to identify areas which require improvement,” it reportedly said. SkyCity reportedly continued that it was “disappointed” for the failure to meet the standard it needed to hold itself. The company reportedly stated that it was constructively engaged with the Internal Affairs Department to follow the proposed procedure and resolve the issues in an expeditious manner. The company refrained from further comments stating: “Given that the matter will be before the court, it would be inappropriate for SkyCity to comment further at this stage,” according to the source. RZN reports that the five claims filed against SkyCity Entertainment Group are estimated to potentially impose a maximum liability of around $8m in total.