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SkyCity Adelaide casino operator could face fines of up to $48M


Australian Consumer and Business Services Minister Andrea Michaels plans to introduce new legislation to the nation’s Parliament next week, aiming to significantly raise maximum fines for Adelaide’s casino operator from AU$100,000 ($65,000) to AU$75 million ($48.6 million).

According to Australian media reports, this update marks the first amendment to the legislation since its inception in 1997, with Michaels citing the need to align South Australia’s penalties with those of other states.

The proposed changes empower the SA Liquor and Gambling Commissioner with greater authority under the Casino Act.

This includes the ability to grant and review the state’s casino license, conduct investigations, and take disciplinary action against Australia and New Zealand gaming operator SkyCity for violations of the Act.

These legislative developments coincide with ongoing federal and state investigations into SkyCity.

AUSTRAC initiated proceedings against SkyCity Adelaide in 2022, alleging significant and systemic non-compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.

In February, SkyCity increased the amount it had set aside to cover a potential civil penalty from AU$45 million ($29 million) to AU$73 million ($47.3 million).

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, the group said it had “come to an agreement” with AUSTRAC and would “admit in the proceedings and the amount of a civil penalty they will jointly propose as appropriate in the circumstances”.

The matter is set to return to court in June.

SkyCity Entertainment Group recently announced the appointment of former Aristocrat executive Jason Walbridge as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Walbridge is expected to begin by early July of this year, with the appointment including a move back to New Zealand to handle operations.

Nelson Moura
Nelson Moura
Editor and reporter with 10 years of experience in Greater China, namely Taiwan and Macau, in printed and online media, with a focus on finance, gaming, politics, crime, business and social issues.