SkyCity to introduce online casino gaming in New Zealand

The New Zealand-based group announced it will introduce an online casino by exploiting a legislation gap and base it offshore.

SkyCity Entertainment Group is set to launch its online gaming platform in the country in 2019. The company announced that it will take advantage of a legislation gap and bypass local prohibition by basing the venue somewhere else (most likely Europe).

According to CEO Graeme Stephens, the operator has been ready to move forward with its plan since August but has yet to confirm where the business will be based. Nonetheless, SkyCity spokesman Colin Espiner said that Europe is a “fair summation, given that’s where most online gaming is based.”

The company also explained that Kiwis will be allowed to use the online gaming website as – though the company won’t advertise in the country – nothing stops locals from gambling. That way, SkyCity expects to take a piece of the €242 million that offshore operators take yearly from local punters.

The business is expected to generate around €24 million in tax revenue for the country, but it remains to be seen whether the government will take that money considering the segment is not legal in New Zealand.

Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin said she’s “disappointed that the company is forging ahead,” and criticised local legislation, commenting that the situation… “highlights how inadequate these laws are – it’s not just for them, but also the huge number of offshore gambling games that are coming into New Zealand now… that we have no way to control.”