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Casino regulation

I have regularly acted for casino licence holders, over many years since the first North Island casino premises licence was granted to SkyCity. This includes ongoing advice on issues of regulatory compliance, often involving complex issues of statutory interpretation.

I advised SkyCity on discrete regulatory issues relating to casino gaming in the context ofthe negotiation of the New Zealand International Convention Centre Agreement between SkyCity and the Government. Under this Agreement SkyCity is building an international scale convention centre, and the Government has granted certain regulatory concessions.

I have appeared in significant defended public hearings before the Gambling Commission and former Casino Control Authority, including:

  • acting for SkyCity Hamilton Limited in a recent two week hearing before the Commission. This was a test case relating to the substitution of table games and EGMs under s 12 of the Gambling Act 2003.
  • acting for SkyCity Casino Management Ltd in a review of its licence conditions, including in relation to host responsibility;
  • acting for Queenstown Casinos Ltd in its successful application for a casino premises licence in Queenstown. There were competing applications and the hearing lasted for some months.
  • representing SkyCity Casino Management Ltd in its successful application for a casino operator’s licence;
  • acting for SkyCity Casino Management Ltd in a successful application to increase the number of table games and EGMS at the Auckland Casino;
  • acting for casino licence holders in various applications for orders varying casino licence conditions or for administrative approvals.

I have also represented casino licence holders in a number of court proceedings, for example:

  • acting for Sky Tower Casino Ltd, the holder of the first North Island casino premises licence, in successfully defending a judicial review challenge (brought by a competing applicant) to the decision of the Casino Control Authority granting the licence. This remains a leading case on apparent bias and the Court’s remedial discretion.
  • acting for SkyCity Auckland Ltd in a successful appeal to the High Court from a decision of the Gambling Commission categorising electronic roulette as a gaming machine rather than a table game;
  • representing SkyCity Auckland Ltd in a test case seeking a declaration as to the proper interpretation of key provisions of the Gambling Act 2003.
  • acting for a casino licence holder in defending an appeal to the High Court by the PGF from a decision of the Gambling Commission. This was favourably resolved.

In addition, I have made submissions on behalf of casino licence holders to select committees and to the Regulations Review Committee in relation to proposed legislative changes.

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