Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Isn't this illegal?

So, SkyCity apparently lost $2.4 million this year due to a large group of foreign gamblers who left without paying their debts. Which is interesting because it is illegal for casinos to loan money to their customers for the purposes of gambling.

While there are obvious exemptions, I can't find any evidence that they apply. All old approvals by the Casino Control Authority for casinos to offer credit to gamblers were revoked by the Gambling Commission in 2010 [PDF]. And I can find no suggestion in the Commission's list of decisions, its delegated approvals, or in SkyCity's venue or operators licences that any new approval has been granted. Either its (very oddly) not published, or it doesn't exist. In which case SkyCity has been breakign the law.

Either way: loaning money to gamblers is what Tony Soprano does. We should not be letting our casinos do it. We don't let them host loan sharks, and we shouldn't let them act that way either.

Update (16/8/13): According to Internal Affairs, it was a bounced cheque, rather than an illegal extension of credit by SkyCity.