Analysts are expecting that SkyCity Entertainment Group could be facing fines of AU$50 million ($32.21 million), due in 2024, after investigations by Australia’s gaming watchdog, AUSTRAC and state authorities into the casino owner and operator’s activities.
The analysts from Jarden say, however, that this could be a conservative estimate, with more fines possibly being levelled.
Australia’s gaming watchdog had previously notified it had found potential non-compliance by the group’s Adelaide operator, and while the analysts note that SkyCity continues to respond to regulator’s inquiries it’s ‘also too early to say anything definitive on where these may go’, notes the New Zealand Herald.
The analyst factors in the $32.21 million in fines across both AUSTRAC and the South Australia state regulator inquiries ‘paid in full-year 2024’.
Last year, the gaming watchdog notified that SkyCity Adelaide and other casino operators were being investigated for alleged breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism legislation. This year, South Australian state authorities announced a review over the suitability of SkyCity to hold a casino license in Adelaide.
The Jarden analysts are also estimating a fine of AU$300 million ($193.25 million) for Star Entertainment Group – an AU$100 million fine by New South Wales State, AU$100 million by Queensland state and an estimated AUSTRAC fine of AU$100 million.
However, the analysts note that SkyCity differs from The Star in that it has ‘not been issued any enforcement notice to date’ and that ‘its operations in Adelaide were not using China Union Pay and SkyCity Adelaide didn’t operate a hotel at the time and had much more limited VIP play vs both Star Entertainment Group and Crown’.
SkyCity management previously informed shareholders that it had ‘identified certain areas where enhancements to the Adelaide anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing programme are required or appropriate’ and that ‘AUSTRAC could bring enforcement action’.