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SkyCity refuses to reveal gambler research

Published: 7:31PM Monday July 09, 2012 Source: ONE News

Experts are concerned SkyCity will use its research on potential problem gamblers at the casino to keep revenue flowing.

The casino's introducing sophisticated software which analyses player behaviour and will show who is at risk of problem gambling.

Chief executive of the Problem Gambling Foundation Graeme Ramsey said he is concerned the research could be used to keep problem gamblers just below the high risk level.

"The danger here is that SkyCity could use that material for its own purposes to keep people gambling for longer periods of time at slightly less problematic levels," said Ramsey.

SkyCity refused to show ONE News its research on how people gamble at the casino and there is no legal requirement for it to do so despite the information it could provide.

"There is a greater onus for intervention if you have got more accurate research," said Ramsey.

The programme analyses data collected from loyalty cards used by players.

Loyalty cards are not compulsory, but experts say if they were the data could also highlight money laundering

"Money laundering is so often connected to terrorism so there are good reason why Government may want to get stricter," said Linda Hancock from Australia's Deakin University.

"It's quite incredible that regulators aren't on top of it and aren't requiring an audit of this data and an actual inspection of it."

The programme is in a testing phase until mid next year.

It comes as SkyCity negotiates with the Government for a convention centre in exchange for more pokie machines.