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Department Of Internal Affairs Holds SkyCity Accountable For AML/CFT Compliance

Department of Internal Affairs, Te Tari Taiwhenua (DIA) has filed civil proceedings against SkyCity Casino Management Limited (SkyCity) under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act), in order to help uphold the integrity of New Zealand's financial system.

DIA alleges that SkyCity did not meet its obligations relating to its risk assessment, establishing, implementing and maintaining an AML/CFT compliance programme, monitoring accounts and transactions, conducting enhanced customer due diligence, and terminating existing business relationships.

These alleged failures variously spanned from February 2018 to March 2023.

Under the AML/CFT Act, all Casinos in New Zealand are required to meet a range of regulatory obligations to detect and deter money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

It is important to note that while these allegations of regulatory breaches are serious, it is not suggested that SkyCity was directly involved in money laundering or the financing of terrorism.

“Casinos can be an attractive way for criminals to launder proceeds of crime. We cannot take the risk that criminals might choose New Zealand casinos as a way of cleaning their dirty money. Casinos must have robust processes in place to protect them from misuse." Says Mike Stone, Director AML/CFT Group DIA.

“DIA is steadfast in its commitment as a supervisor in New Zealand's AML/CFT system and this civil proceeding, like previous actions taken by the Department, shows that when a business fails to meet its AML/CFT obligations, we will take firm action."

As these matters are currently before the High Court, DIA is unable to provide further comment at this time.

More information can be found about DIA’s role in the AML/CFT system and our regulatory approach on our webpage here: https://www.dia.govt.nz/AML-CFT-Homepage.

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