13 Apr 2021

SkyCity stops dealing with junkets permanently

1:32 pm on 13 April 2021

The casino and gaming operator SkyCity has severed ties with junket operators effective immediately.

Sky City logo

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Junket operators are agencies that recruit high-rollers into organised casino trips, fund their gambling and collect whatever debts are owed.

They also collect a commission from the casino based on the collective gambling of the players.

The decision follows a strategic review of the company's international business that was signalled in its half year result.

"The SkyCity board has determined to permanently cease dealing with all junket operators, effective immediately, and continue to operate its international business division under a revised operating model," it said in a statement to the stock exchange.

No reason was provided for why the company had ended the arrangement.

However, junkets had come under scrutiny recently, after an Australian inquiry into a Sydney-based casino found that operators posed a money laundering risk, with some linked to organised crime groups.

SkyCity said it would now be consulting with its businesses in New Zealand and South Australia about the changes.

"Under the revised operating model, SkyCity will deal directly with international business patrons after appropriate know your customer and customer due diligence requirements are satisfied."