The Greens have revealed that criminals are laundering millions of dollars through SkyCity, taking their gambling losses as the price of coming out with clean, untraceable money. The Government’s sleazy ‘law for sale’ deal with SkyCity would only make it worse by allowing more anonymous, higher stake gambling on the pokies. Instead, we should be clamping down.
SkyCity should be under a duty to determine that its high-rollers came by their money legitimately. Just like if you go into a bank and try to deposit a large amount of cash, they’ll ask questions under their FATF obligations to prevent money laundering.
It’s not like a lot of people can afford to come to a casino and drop hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars.
Internal Affairs says that the cashless pokies that SkyCity wants as part of its deal to build a white elephant convention centre would also make problem gamlbing worse: “the ticket machines can allow gamblers to dissociate themselves from reality by not using “real” money; gamble uninterrupted for long periods; increase gambling credits by $500 a time, rather than the $20 cash limit; be less likely to be identified as problem gamblers”.
So, an easier route for SkyCity’s criminal customers to launder their money (with SkyCity making a profit on the transactionl) and a more dangerous option for problem gamblers. Someone, tell me what New Zealand gets out of Steven Joyce’s dirty deal again?