SkyCity Set to Launch an Online Casino before the end of the Year

SkyCity Entertainment Group has revealed plans to launch what is sure to be one of the top online casinos NZ has to offer. According to local news reports citing Colin Espiner, the company’s spokesperson.

The company first revealed its plans to expand into the online gambling space last August. SkyCity currently operates incorporated entertainment properties with casinos within New Zealand and Australia.

While it is illegal to run betting operations from within New Zealand, SkyCity is determined to exploit a gap in the nation’s law and will run its operations from outside the country. The company will also not be able to run from Australia since online casino games have been prohibited under the country’s gambling law since 2017.

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Espiner commenting on the issue, told the local media that the company is yet to decide on a site for the online operation. He said that the company is considering Malta, which has, over time, been a popular online gaming hub. The New Zealand casino operator is also evaluating opportunities to partner with a reputable online gambling operator.

The company’s online business will be limited to casino games, as they do not plan to explore sports betting.

Under New Zealand’s current gaming laws, SkyCity Online Casino will not be able to advertise its casino site actively across local media.

Several offshore gambling companies have found a way to evade rules and promote their operations to kiwis. Still, SkyCity has stated that it will not exploit any existing loopholes and plans to rely on SEO to draw gamblers.

Source of Revenue for the Government

Due to high setup costs, SkyCity doesn’t expect to generate significant profit from its online casino during its fiyearYear of operation. However, the firm strongly believes that the process will take off rapidly.

Mr. Espiner told the local media platforms that the gaming operator could pledge an amount of up to NZ$40M in annual taxes to the government. The online casino will not be in New Zealand’s authority as it will be based outside the state, but the groups said it is ready to donate funds to its government.

Espiner stated that even if the government cannot refuse to take its contributions, the company would direct the money to charitable courses.

The casino operator stated that it would observe its online gaming operations sternly and that the services are provided to clients in a socially responsible way.

The company’s spokesperson explained that problem gamblers will be spotted on time and will be imposed a time and spending limit.

Despite the casino operator’s pledges to contribute towards tax and social responsibility, the country’s Minister for Internal Affairs, Tracey Martin, said that she was disappointed that the company still wants to go ahead with the plan and that the move showed an inadequacy in the nation’s current regulatory framework.

The minister mentioned lyearYear that she would present a paper to reorganize the local online betting market.

SkyCity is hopeful that the legislation would allow for the provision of online casino services in a managed environment rather than prohibiting the practice altogether. Mister Martin is expected to introduce the paper to the Cabinet this April. However, any changes in the country’s gambling law would take two years to be implemented.

The news about the expected move by SkyCity was not well received by Problem Gambling Foundation. The Foundation has been lobbying for more restrictive laws regarding the provision of gambling services for many years.

Last Updated: June 27, 2023