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Skycity Casino Could Face Legal Action

A major class-action lawsuit is underway in Australia against the government and Australian gaming industry. The class-action on behalf of more than 200 problem gamblers alleges that the industry failed its duty to care by not identifying and discouraging their behaviour.

Problem Gambling Foundation head John Stansfield said it is "inevitable" a similar lawsuit will be filed in the future against SkyCity.

The foundation believes that one in six visitors to SkyCity is a problem gambler. The Problem Gambling Foundation is monitoring the class-action case in Australia.

The SkyCity Casino rejected this statement. SkyCity might face legal action from gamblers whose lives have been destroyed by poker machines. Stansfield believed that the SkyCity's customer loyalty card scheme is a way to identify problem gamblers.

"If the Australian case is successful, we'll be into this like a rat up a drainpipe. The potential damages could be huge - millions and millions of dollars," Stansfield said.

Stansfield added, "What we will say is that SkyCity has made rapacious super profits, now let's deduct from those the costs to others. They simply don't do enough to deal with problem gambling. It's time they were made accountable."

SkyCity said between 86 and 90 percent of total harm from problem gambling was related to non-casino venues. SkyCity is looking at the legal ramifications of how it could use information it gathered about punters spending habits. SkyCity also said that less 30 percent of customers had loyalty cards and it would breach their privacy to use the cards for other purposes.


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