Did SkyCity make $1.4 million out of alleged money laundering?

The New Zealand Herald reported today that the property and bank accounts belonging to Zhi Wei Yang, an alleged Auckland P dealer, has been seized under the laws around the proceeds of crime and that over a 19-month period this gentleman had a turnover of $14 million at Auckland’s SkyCity Casino.

The Herald reported that the casino operator was complying with all requests from the police and generally being helpful from the sounds of things – but no-one mentioned the fact that with a $14 million turnover spent the casino got a cut.

The amount kept by the casino varies on table games however if Mr Yang just spent his $14 million at the pokies there the casino would’ve earned about $1.4 million.  And obviously this money has not been seized.

SkyCity have frequently said that they have strong host responsibility programmes, however you have to wonder why, if they were monitoring the gambling behaviour of Mr Yang for 19 months and could point to how much he was spending, they didn’t intervene earlier and ask him where the money was coming from.

I guess this is a classic example of the old adage that ‘the house always wins.’

About Denise Roche 161 Articles

Green Party MP

3 Comments Posted

  1. Not to mention other organisations that Sky City have to pay money to, like, oh, how about the Government. Should they refund their share of this money?

    It amsues me that in the USA the tax authorities are quite unequivocal on this issue; if you are running an illegal business the IRS still want their cut, perhaps most famously in the case of Al Capone, but it happens today, drug deales and pimps get jailed for failing to pay tax on their illegal earnings.

  2. If Zhi Wei Yang had any sense, he would have been laundering the money through gaming tables with a low house cut. The roulette wheel has a 1/37 house cut (under 3%) so $14 million through that would only have cost him under $400,000. SkyCity could argue that they have had to pay their workers, security staff and probably bank fees out of this money for providing Zhi Wei Yang with their services, so the amount that they should pay back could well be under $300,000 – probably not worth pursuing.


  3. It’s an interesting suggestion that the casino should aak the source of his funds. Would this also apply to the Real Estate agent that sold him the million house, the solictor who carried out his conveyancing (he would of been aware of the lack of mortgage), and the jeweller that sold the ring.

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