South Australia Not Ruling Out Operational Changes to SkyCity Adelaide Casino
- SA State Premier said are prepared to make major changes to SkyCity’s operations
- Brian Martin AO QC has submitted his report to the Liquor and Gaming Commissioner on Feb. 1
- The report would determine whether or not SkyCity is suitable to hold a license in Adelaide
A review into SkyCity’s Adelaide’s Casino suitability to hold a gaming license in South Australia will be released shortly. With the review soon to be released, the South Australian government has expressed willingness to implement major changes to the way the Australian casino operates, if former Supreme Court judge Brian Martin’s report recommends it.
SkyCity’s Adelaide Operations Could be Overhauled
South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas said they’re monitoring the process closely and not ruling out introducing an overhaul of SkyCity’s operations if it is deemed the venue has not been operating consistent with a position of integrity. But he also emphasized that the process must be completed first before taking the next steps.
In July 2022, Mr. Martin was appointed to conduct an independent investigation into SkyCity’s suitability to continue to hold a license after inquiries conducted in other Australian states highlighted significant failings on the part of the casinos. Mr. Martin was due to report back to Liquor and Gambling Commissioner Dini Soulio on February 1, 2023.
In December 2022, AUSTRAC began civil penalty proceedings against SkyCity over alleged systemic breaches of Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) laws. The court proceedings stemmed from an investigation carried out by the financial crimes watchdog into the casino in 2021.
AUSTRAC’s inquiry found that SkyCity failed to conduct appropriate customer due diligence and committed serious non-compliance with existing AML/CTF laws, leaving the venue at risk of criminal exploitation.
The North Terrace casino allegedly accepted “dirty” cash kept in plastic bags from customers with links to organized crime. SkyCity catered to those customers despite being aware of their criminal background, the investigation found.
SkyCity Fully Cooperating with Review
In a statement this week, Malinauskas said that while he believes the existing management at SkyCity is committed to operating with integrity and abiding by the law, they could not avoid “serious scrutiny”. The South Australian Premier said the Martin review would help determine whether SkyCity has been acting in the best interests of the South Australian community.
SkyCity said it’s currently working on improving its AML/CTF and host responsibility programs as a key priority for the company. The casino who also has an online casino in operation also said that it had fully-cooperated with Mr. Martin as he conducted the independent review, adding that it would work with the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner when the findings of the inquiry become known.