SCML or SkyCity Casino Management is gearing up to file civil penalty proceedings in the country’s high court.
The New Zealand department will file this. SkyCity Casino Management is a subsidiary of casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group. SkyCity will face proceedings on February 16. These relate to SCML’s alleged non-compliance with the New Zealand Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009.
SCML may face a civil penalty once the department’s claim be accepted in whole or partly by high court. In connection with the Act, SkyCity’s maximum liability for the case would be NZ$8.0m or £3.9m or €4.5m or US$4.9m.
SkyCity confirmed the news in a statement. They said the pending proceedings follow a review of SCML’s compliance. SCML holds the license for operating SkyCity land-based casinos in Auckland, Hamilton and Queensland.
Five different causes of action seen as “significant” compliance issues were set out by the draft pleadings in line with the Act. The details of this are not yet available. However, SkyCity says they mainly refer to historical matters. SkyCity added that they had previously self-reported some incidents to the department.
Since late 2021, it has been running an anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing enhancement programme, as noted by SkyCity. This is to address compliance systems and correct historical shortcomings. Furthermore, this also includes investment in people and technology. This also includes reviews of processes and systems to identify areas for improvement.
In response to the civil proceedings, SkyCity committed to working with the department to correct any issues.
SkyCity stated their disappointment and that it has not met the standards to which it needs to hold itself. In result to this, department has taken an action. They also added that SCML and SkyCity will engage constructively with the department. This is in relation to the proposed proceedings, with a view to resolving these matters expeditiously.
Moreover, SkyCity is committed to continuing to uplift its processes and systems. This is particular with respect to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism and financing and host responsibility matters.
Given that the matter will be before the court, it would be inappropriate for SkyCity to comment further at this stage.