DIA issues formal warning to SkyCity for breach in gambling legislation

By Hayley Grammer

Casino operator SkyCity received a formal warning Monday from the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) for promoting it’s Malta-based casino.

Following a month-long probe, the DIA found that the casino operator violated section 16 of the Gambling Act 2003 by emailing its loyalty programme customers advising them that the online casino was operating as normal. While the promotion of overseas gambling is prohibited under section 16, which carries a maximum penalty of $10,000, the regulators concluded that SkyCity was not guilty of breaching the Act deliberately.

According to DIA acting director Chris Thornborough, a formal warning was the appropriate and proportionate measure in this case as education is the first step in addressing complaints. The complaint in question was filed by a customer of the casino.

“We expect SkyCity to exercise a high level of caution in future to avoid breaching the Act. The department will continue to keep an eye on the operator and take any future breaches seriously,” Thornborough commented.

A media representative of the casino operator shared in a statement that the purpose of the email was only to inform customers of the overall impact that the coronavirus pandemic was having on the operations of SkyCity, a move the company doesn’t believe to have contravened with the provisions of the Gambling Act.

While SkyCity maintains its stance, it respects the view of the department and will take into account the feedback received. 

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