SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited has announced that they are partnering with Gaming Innovation Group Incorporated (GIG) to launch a New Zealand online casino site.
The development follows a prior SkyCity announcement that they intended to open an international online casino site. In March, that announcement was met with opposition from some politicians. However, it did not stop the casino from moving forward with the plan.
GIG and SkyCity Reach Deal on New Zealand Online Casino
According to reports, GIG and SkyCity have reached a deal that will see the Malta-based company assist SkyCity in creating a New Zealand-facing online casinos site. According to a press release from GIG, the two companies have reached a long-term deal that will see SKYCITY Malta Limited receive GIG’s turnkey online casino platform along with a gambling licence.
The platform includes fully managed services, front end development, compliance and marketing, CRM, and technical platform. The New Zealand online casino site will operate from Malta and will service New Zealand customers. Robin Reed, the CEO for GIG, commented on the deal, stating:
“I am delighted that GiG Incorporated is partnering with SkyCity. We share the same high standards and ambitions for a safe, responsible and entertaining gaming experience for end users. We look forward to supporting SkyCity [Entertainment Group Limited] in its expansion into the online space where our full suite of products and solutions all form part of a very competitive offering to its online customers. New Zealand is preparing for the regulation of online casino gambling and we are there to support our partner further when it happens.”
SkyCity’s CEO Graeme Stephens also commented on the partnership, stating: “SkyCity [Entertainment Group Limited] is delighted to be partnering with GiG [Incorporated] to establish an online casino offering based in Europe. Growing and diversifying our earnings is a key component of our group strategic plan.”
But What About the Ban on Casino Gambling?
Back in April, you probably remember that SkyCity signed a deal to offer an online casino to international customers. The development took place despite dismay expressed by Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. Martin called the move disappointing and said that the deal was indicative of a larger problem of the government stopping international companies from offering online gambling to Australian citizens.
New Zealand based companies cannot offer Kiwis online gambling products. So how is SkyCity getting away with this? Primarily, it is because the deal is with the Malta subsidiary of SkyCity. The online casino site will operate from Malta, and not New Zealand.
Next, it appears that GIG and SkyCity believe that current laws are about to change. According to a GIG press release, New Zealand will regulated online casino gambling in the near future.
So what does that mean for Kiwis? Soon, they will have a new online casino site connected to a reputable operator available to them. The press release from GIG states that they plan to launch the online casino during Q3 of 2019. That would cover the period from July 1 to September 30, 2019.
What you can also expect is a flurry of political and legal banter to start up regarding the casino’s launch. While it is possible that SkyCity knows something that we don’t regarding upcoming changes in online gambling laws, odds are that lawmakers will still take an offensive and try to paint SkyCity as a villain in this scenario.