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Casino Boss Still Has Cards up Sleeve
Christchurch Casino’s Barry Thomas is preparing to launch a legal battle
over Auckland-based Sky City Entertainment’s purchase of a $93.75
million chunk of the casino.
Although Sky City’s purchase of a 40.5% stake in Christchurch Casino Ltd
(CCL) from Aspinall is widely regarded as a done deal, Thomas does not
With its latest purchase giving it a stake in five of New Zealand’s six
casinos, Sky City must win approval from the Commerce Commission, the
Overseas Investment Commission and the Casino Control Authority.
Thomas believes enough objections can be raised to sway at least one of
those bodies. "I don’t believe it’s over yet," he told the Sunday
Previous Commerce Commission approvals have been relatively
straightforward with no opposition. But that would almost certainly not
be the case this time, Thomas said.
CCL had briefed lawyers on a case to the Commerce Commission on
dominance issue, he said.
Sky City’s ability to manipulate a lucrative and highly mobile
"high-roller" market between casinos it owns throughout New Zealand
would also be raised.
Originally, Commerce Commission deliberations on the operation of
casinos assumed each casino would be operated as a local monopoly with
local custom, each having little impact on the others. The spat over the
Sky City move is part of a long-running wrangle between Thomas and the
Auckland casino operator.
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2004 Online Casino News Archive