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June 19, 2015
The operator of the casino SkyCity Entertainment Group in New Zealand sparked fears on the part of the authorities after running the free game site.
Since the beginning of this week, video poker, slot machines and table games are available to players of the website Skycityonline.com totally free, but the CEO of Problem Gambling Foundation Graeme Ramsey does not believe in “altruism” of the provider. Mr Ramsey informed Auckland Now that such an event is just SkyCity’s “promotion” and “a way to assert themselves by using new forms of advertising.”
On the contrary, the SkyCity company just intended to keep pace with the times and use the free-to-play sites as an influential tool in the arsenal of their advertising campaign. The opening of the site took place this week by invitations to the Premier Rewards gamblers of SkyCity and all the awards got online can be bought in only in the operator’s brick-and-mortar casinos in Queenstown, Hamilton and Auckland.
The spokesman of the operator states that the company has taken all measures to minimize the cost of the site overrun. Therefore, operators have imposed restrictions on the free refill credits. Players can win some prizes, vouchers and bonuses that can be applied only in land-based establishments.
It should be reminded that online gambling is illegal in New Zealand, and SkyCity argues that the new site will not become a “Trojan horse” in the field of the Internet. Site headers state that “SkyCity does not promote the site to gain a client base and has no plans to play for real money”. However, such statements are not believable to Ramsey, who calls Skycityonline “a step in the wrong direction.” Nevertheless, the operator ensures that the site is accessible for players over 20 only, and stresses that the research held revealed that igaming is “out of touch with commercial and consumer reality.”
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