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New Zealand to initiate civil penalty proceedings against SkyCity Entertainment Group

February 13, 2024 World Casino & HotelCrime & Legal

The Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand is getting ready to start civil penalty proceedings against SkyCity Entertainment Group for their prior violation with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009, according to their disclosures.

On Friday, February 16th, the actions against SkyCity subsidiary SkyCity Casino Management Limited (SCML) are scheduled to be filed in the High Court. This measure is in response to the Department’s assessment of the business’s Act compliance. For the casinos in New Zealand, SkyCity Queenstown, Hamilton, and Auckland, SCML is the license holder for the casino operator.

According to SkyCity, the Department has found five different instances of violation with the Act, raising serious concerns about compliance. They primarily relate to prior problems, some of which the Department was previously notified of by the parties themselves.

Under the Act and relevant legal precedents, SkyCity may be subject to a maximum penalty of NZ$8 million if proven guilty. This amount is far smaller than the current Australian proceedings, in which SkyCity has allocated AU$73 million (US$45 million) for AUSTRAC’s anticipated penalties against SkyCity Adelaide in its 1H24 accounts.

The company acknowledged the Department’s actions and conveyed its dissatisfaction with its failure to meet the necessary requirements. SkyCity and SCML want to collaborate with the Department to swiftly settle the planned procedures. However, SkyCity refuses to provide any details, citing the continuing legal proceedings.

By introducing an extensive Anti-Money Laundering/Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) upgrading program in late 2021, SkyCity demonstrated its dedication to addressing compliance flaws. This program requires a large investment in both people and technology, along with in-depth analyses of systems and processes to find and fix weaknesses. SkyCity underscored its dedication to continuously improving its policies and processes, particularly in the domains of host responsibility and AML/CFT.

Original story by: IAG

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