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SkyCity’s Casino Duty Dispute – A Costly Setback

SkyCity faced a major setback in its enduring casino duty dispute, which was disclosed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) website. The dispute over a 1999 duty agreement saw a crucial moment, with the Australian Court of Appeal siding with the Treasurer of South Australia.

Financial Implications of Loyalty Points Dispute

At the core of the dispute is whether the loyalty points accrued and used by players should contribute to SkyCity Adelaide casino’s gaming revenue, impacting the duty payments owed. Despite SkyCity’s objection, the Court of Appeal’s ruling stipulates that loyalty points should be included in calculating the casino’s duty obligations.

Given the Court of Appeal’s ruling in favour of the Treasurer, SkyCity faces a duty cost of $13 million accrued over ten years. The decision mandates SkyCity to always pay casino duty based on figures, including loyalty points.

skycitys casino duty dispute

Legal Battles and Regulatory Challenges Mount

Despite the Court of Appeal’s unfavourable ruling for SkyCity, the company is bracing for additional legal and regulatory obstacles. Notably, the Court sided with SkyCity on the agreement’s interest clause, alleviating potential hefty interest penalties. However, regulatory scrutiny persists as SkyCity faces examination from multiple authorities.

AML Allegations and Licensing Struggles

SkyCity is facing more than just the casino duty problem. New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs is planning to take legal action against SkyCity’s branch, SkyCity Casino Management Limited, for suspected violations of anti-money laundering (AML) laws. These issues make it harder for the casino to get and keep its licenses in New Zealand because they haven’t been following the rules about fair gambling.

Additionally, SkyCity is under increased legal scrutiny in Australia after being accused of breaking AML-related laws, as revealed in an investigation by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). With regulations getting stricter, SkyCity has to handle a complicated mix of legal and financial responsibilities.


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