SkyCity Auckland Casino Robbed in Brazen Daytime Attack

Posted on: September 8, 2023, 07:42h. 

Last updated on: September 8, 2023, 10:50h.

As if it didn’t already have enough to deal with, SkyCity Entertainment now has a robbery on its hands. The fact that the theft at the SkyCity Auckland casino took place in broad daylight and the thief got away only makes the situation that much more egregious.

The entrance to the SkyCity Auckland casino property in New Zealand
The entrance to the SkyCity Auckland casino property in New Zealand. A thief robbed the casino Friday afternoon. (Image: RNZ)

SkyCity is currently embroiled in several high-profile dilemmas with regulators in both its home country of New Zealand and Australia. They center on whether or not the company had any involvement, passive or otherwise, in money laundering, and if it has properly abided by responsible gambling regulations.

Details about the heist are sketchy, and the casino hasn’t offered a lot of information. No one was hurt during the robbery, and police are now scouring through every piece of evidence they can find to track the thief down.

Man on the Run

The attack took place at around 12:30 PM local time Friday afternoon, according to the New Zealand Herald. Preliminary reports indicated that the unidentified assailant approached at least one casino worker and demanded they hand over all the cash they had.

He told them that he had a weapon, although the individual indicated that the thief never actually produced it. The employee complied with the demand anyway, and the crook left on foot. SkyCity doesn’t want to say, and may not yet know, how much money he stole.

A spokesperson for SkyCity told the media outlet that the police are now on the case and said that the heist was never a “threat to the public.” The individual added that “impacted staff are being offered support” to cope with the robbery.

Because casino gambling is still mainly a cash-driven industry, greed or desperation sometimes makes people do foolish things. Robberies of gambling properties are a fairly routine occurrence.

This is one of several reasons most casinos have state-of-the-art surveillance systems, including cameras that cover virtually every inch of the interior spaces. The SkyCity Auckland crook either didn’t know this or didn’t care.

Cameras apparently caught him, either in the act or meandering through the casino. The police didn’t release his identity, but indicated that they were able to identify him easily, as he is “known to authorities.”

Latest Headache For SkyCity

No casino wants to have to respond to a theft – it means the loss of money, damage to its reputation, scared gamblers who might stay away, and a mountain of paperwork. As far as SkyCity is concerned, though, this is just a minor issue compared to some of its other problems.

New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has suggested that SkyCity might need to be shut down for up to 10 days. This stems from a tip from a patron who claimed SkyCity Auckland ignored responsible gambling protocols. A decision on the suspension now lies with the New Zealand Gambling Commission.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre and South Australia’s Office of the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner are also looking into the company’s background. They are conducting two independent inquiries into allegations SkyCity’s SkyCity Adelaide casino broke anti-money laundering regulations.

All of the investigations are still underway, and it isn’t clear how soon the different entities will reach their decisions. It could be as soon as 30 days, or up to another year, depending on each case.