Home > People > People moves > SkyCity confirms McPherson as full-time chief information officer

SkyCity confirms McPherson as full-time chief information officer

| By Robert Fletcher
Casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group has appointed Andrew McPherson as chief information officer on a full-time basis.
Matchbook CMO Hegarty

McPherson takes on the role having served as interim CIO at SkyCity since November last year. 

He re-joined SkyCity after two and a half years as chief technology officer at New Zealand media business, Stuff. McPherson previously worked as ICT portfolio manager at SkyCity between September 2019 and June 2021.

Earlier in his career, McPherson served as CEO of Experieco, head of national design at Spark Digital NZ and CEO of International Telematics, a business he also co-founded.

“Happy to be back with the SkyCity Entertainment Group family,” McPherson said in a post today (18 March) on LinkedIn.

SkyCity faces civil penalty proceedings

The news comes at a somewhat troubling time for SkyCity. Last month, the New Zealand department of internal affairs announced it is set to file civil penalty proceedings in the country’s high court against the groups and SkyCity Casino Management (SCML) subsidiary.

The charges relate to SCML’s alleged non-compliance with the New Zealand Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009. Should the claim be accepted – in whole or partly – by the court, SCML could face a penalty of up to NZ$8.0m (£3.8m/€4.5m/US$4.9m).

Proceedings follow a review of SCML’s compliance. SCML holds the licence for operating SkyCity land-based casinos in Auckland, Hamilton and Queensland. The draft pleadings set out five separate causes of action seen as “significant” compliance issues related to the Act. 

SkyCity said these issues mainly refer to historical matters, some of which were previously self-reported to the department. The operator added that it has been running an anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing enhancement programme to address compliance systems and correct historical shortcomings for the past few years. 

Responding to the civil proceedings, SkyCity says it will work with the department to rectify any issues.

Wider concerns for SkyCity

The case is the latest in a line of regulatory issues to befall SkyCity. In September, the New Zealand secretary of the department of internal affairs applied to suspend SkyCity’s casino licence for an estimated 10 days. This was also in relation to the SCML subsidiary, but it is not clear whether this related to the civil proceedings.

Over in Australia, SkyCity is also facing regulatory concerns. In late 2022, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre launched federal proceedings against SkyCity over anti-money laundering failings at SkyCity Adelaide.

The operator in May 2023 launched a review into its counter-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering programmes. SkyCity in August also made a provision of AU$45m ahead of an assumed civil penalty from Austrac. 

In October, SkyCity announced Michael Ahearne is to step down from his role as chief executive. Ahearne is due to leave the business this month.

The year ended with SkyCity warning adjusted EBITDA could fall in its 2024 financial year. This is despite previously saying it expected an increase.

Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter