Monday 4th September 2023
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SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited (SkyCity) has been informed by the Department of Internal Affairs (Department) that the Secretary of the Department (Secretary) is making an application to the Gambling Commission (Commission) to temporarily suspend SkyCity Casino Management Limited’s casino operator’s licence for a period “in the range of 10 days”. SkyCity Casino Management Limited (SCML), a subsidiary of SkyCity, is the holder of the casino operator’s licence for the SkyCity Auckland, SkyCity Hamilton and SkyCity Queenstown casinos in New Zealand. The Commission will now consider whether to make an order to suspend SCML’s casino operator’s licence and, if so, the duration of any such suspension. A decision may not be forthcoming for a number of months.
The application has been made pursuant to section 144(a) of the New Zealand Gambling Act 2003 (Act) and follows a complaint made in February 2022 to the Department by a former customer who gambled at the SkyCity Auckland casino over the period from August 2017 to February 2021. The Secretary states in the application that SCML did not comply with requirements in its SkyCity Auckland Host Responsibility Programme relating to detection of incidences of continuous play by the customer.
SkyCity will fully cooperate with the Secretary in relation to the application and process. 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.
Under section 144(a) of the Act, the Secretary may apply to the Commission for an order to suspend a casino licence if the Secretary is satisfied that the licence holder is breaching or has breached the Act or a condition of the casino licence or minimum operating standards. The Commission must then decide whether or not to grant the order sought by the Secretary after following the procedure set out in section 145 of the Act, including considering written submissions and (if applicable) convening a hearing – a process which could take some months to conclude. Should the Commission determine to grant an order to suspend SCML’s casino operator's licence, this would not impact SkyCity's non-gaming operations, including its hotels and restaurants.
SkyCity is committed to maintaining the highest standards of host responsibility best practice, with priority given to minimising the impacts associated with problem gambling as an area of primary focus. SkyCity has made, and continues to make, significant investment and enhancements in its host responsibility controls, technology and resources.
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