Sky City Online Casino
Sky City the famous Auckland based Casino is currently investigating whether it can launch an Online Casino. The news first broke in August 2018 but has started to gain serious momentum with the Sky City Online Casino being touted as the name to be used. The growth of the Kiwi online casino sector has been cited as a primary driver behind this decision.
It is important to note that this is still very much in the evaluation phase and that it will take time for Sky City to solidify its strategy as there are a number of hurdles to overcome before the Sky City online casino can be officially launched.
Online Casino Plan
Graeme Stephens, the current Chief Executive at Sky City, has indicated that the most likely route to market would be to partner with an offshore online casino operator.
Stephens say that New Zelanders are already playing at these online casino operators and that they would be making it safer for Kiwi players to gamble online. Stephens refered to the possibility of a Sky City Online Casino a number of times recently:
- It’s available here in New Zealand. A lot of offshore-based casino operators are making their online offerings available to Kiwis, including our own customers,
- it’s something we have been looking at for a while, as we need to. We have got a large investment in bricks and mortar. The future of the world, not just our industry, but everywhere is going online.
- We are evaluating our options in that space, and if we can make something work, we would like to.
- It’s a logical segue from our land-based [business] into the online.
Legal Online Casinos
Kiwi players already gamble online with offshore casino opperators, TAB and also play Lotto online. The forms of online gambling are all already legal in New Zealand as stated on the Department Of Internal Affairs’ website.
The difficulty for Sky City is that they would need to partner with an offshore online casino to meet the current regulations. The promotion of the online casino would also be difficult as direct advertising is not legal. Many online casinos currently use casino schools and free play versions of their casinos to circumvent this regulation.
Sky City have not been actively lobbying parliment to change the legislation but have been quoted as saying
It’s going to happen regardless, so you might as well regulate it because then you get the benefits of harm minimisation and taxes.
Sky City – Free Play Online Casino
Sky City did release a free play casino site back in 2015 but there were numerous complaints from place like the Problem Gambling Foundation.
The Problem Gambling Foundation claimed that the online gamling website was
grooming people to become gamblers. Sky City themselves claimded that the site was designed purely to provide fun and excitement.
The Free Play website did allow players to win gift vouchers and earn bonus loyatly points which was strongly condemed by Graeme Ramsey the Chief Executive at the Problem Gambling Foundation.
This story is still developing and more and more players playing pokies online it is bound to gain momentum moving into 2019. We will keep track of all the latest developments and keep you informed.