A SkyCity casino worker fired from his job after he authorised a $310,000 payment to a casino player was justifiably dismissed, the Employment Relations Authority says.
Keith Hayashi, the operations manager for SkyCity Management Ltd, had been working for the company for just over 20 years when the incident happened last February.
In documents released by the ERA, Hayashi mistakenly believed that an international player had been playing a wrong table limit for more than a week.
A briefing at the beginning of his shift - at 3.30am - informed staff that the "Any Pair Bet'' in a room designated for significant international players was a combined total of $25,000.
Hayashi and several other employees, however, thought that that figure also applied to a different room too.
The woman involved in the incident, whose name has been suppressed, had a table limit of $10,000 per player/ banker pair, which amounted to $20,000 in total.
"Mr Hayashi then advised [the woman] that the table limit had changed (by reduction) and that the table limits on the display screen were wrong,'' the documents said.
The woman had been playing at the casino for nine days.
Hayashi told the woman SkyCity would investigate the situation and without consulting other managers above him, he asked two other staff members to calculate the amount owing to her using tracking sheets.
"The amount calculated was $310,400," documents say.
"SkyCity said Mr Hayashi had delegated authority to authorise a payment up to $5,000 for an under or over payment if the hand was played live in front of him.
"SkyCity also said a payment of $310,400 would require authorisation by the chief executive officer.''
Hayashi then promised the woman she would be reimbursed $310,400.
Before any payment was made, however, the mistake was identified and Hayashi was then told to instead apologise to the player and let her know that that the table limit had been correct the whole time.
When he did so, the woman instead demanded that SkyCity honour the payment promised to her by Hayashi.
"The CEO of SkyCity eventually authorised payment to [her] in the amount of $310,400.''
Three months later, Hayashi was dismissed from his job for serious misconduct.
His dismissal came after a disciplinary investigation found he had authorised an overpayment contrary to SkyCity's procedures and limits of its financial authority; and also failed to follow the lawful and reasonable instruction of [another staff member] for two hours to advise [the female player] that there was no change to the limits in the room she was playing in and that no payment would be made to it.
Approached for comment following today's ERA decision release, SkyCity declined.