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Govt enabling money laundering in SkyCity - Greens

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Today’s revelations that SkyCity Casino is caught up in an alleged international crime syndicate comes as no surprise given the Government’s inaction over money laundering in casinos, the Green Party said today.

"Casinos are an engine of crime, so it’s not surprising that another money laundering ring has been exposed at SkyCity Casino," said Green Party gambling spokesperson Denise Roche.

"It is the latest in a growing body of evidence that SkyCity profits from the proceeds of crime. When money is laundered through their casino, SkyCity profits from the business and they should have to give it back.

"The National Government’s cosy deal with SkyCity is enabling this to happen by making money laundering that much easier. We’re going to see a lot more of this happening."

Included in the list of gambling concessions gifted to SkyCity Casino in their agreement with the Government to build a convention centre is an increase in ‘ticket-in, ticket-out technology’ and machines that can accept denominations of $20 and higher. Both of these concessions are linked to increased problem gambling and money laundering.

"Ticket-in, ticket-out technology is one of the best ways to increase money laundering. It enables anonymous gambling, which makes problem gambling easier and is directly linked to money laundering overseas," said Ms Roche.

"The Department of Internal Affairs advised that there were serious questions about how easy this technology would make it for money launderers to use the casino to "clean" the proceeds of crime, yet the Government still allowed for this to happen.

"We can expect more examples of these crimes unless the Government legislates to stamp it out.

"The National Government has twice voted against Green Party attempts to stop this sort of activity; once through a Members Bill and again through an amendment to the SkyCity legislation, both of which sought to implement systems to detect and prevent problem gamblers and money launderers, and to return ill-gotten casino profits to those who have been affected.

"We have provided the Government with a solution to the problem of casinos being used by criminals to money launder, but they’ve ignored it. Unless they act, we can, look forward to much more of this to come."

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