SkyCity Group Pleased by Gambling Revenues Following Re-Opening

Piers Daubeney

Posted On:   JUL - 25 - 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Some much needed good news arrives at the SkyCity Group. Gambling revenues are on the rise following the re-opening of its casinos in May. A decision was taken by the Group to re-open in mid may starting with Hamilton, Queenstown and Auckland. Wharf Casino remains closed following the country’s shutdown to battle the pandemic.

As per the Group, both the flagship property in Auckland and the smaller venue in Hamilton have delivered satisfactory performances given the current circumstances. EGM revenue for SkyCity is already at 80 percent of average daily revenue for the eight months to 29 February 2020.

The new social distances measures placed in the casinos have had a noticeable impact on revenues especially for table games. Despite the social distances measures being taken, table games revenue is currently at 50 percent. As per the new guidelines there is a limit to the number of people casinos can have around blackjack and roulette tables.

The low hotel occupancy at 32 percent is being boosted over the weekends with special offers. With rooms rates over the weekends at 35 percent lower than usual, the hotel has 90 percent occupancy.

More good news came in the form of their online casino venture. SkyCity casino has a total of 21,000 players enjoying a variety of online pokies, table and live dealer games.

Even with the encouraging results, company CEO Graeme Stephens stressed on the need to operate in a more efficient manner.Stephens is adamant that the company will continue to soldier towards as a lean, domestically focused business. This unfortunately means that the 700 staff reduncanies will also go ahead as planned.

Graeme Stephens added “Unfortunately, this remains necessary to ensure that SkyCity’s businesses are sustainable in the medium and long term and can continue to support the thousands of jobs that will still remain,” he explained. “With the combination of tight cost control and the revenues now being achieved, the Auckland and Hamilton properties are currently running at levels that are profitable and cash positive.”

“SkyCity remains committed to maintaining robust health and safety standards to manage the risks associated with Covid- 19 and will be encouraging customers to maintain contact tracing via the Government’s NZ Covid-19 Tracer app,” Stephens added.

To further increase stability, the company is also in the process of finalising a funding plan. The plan will take into account debt and equity measures the company can utilise to sustain and grow in a responsible manner.

At the time of writing, the threat posed by coronavirus has been downgraded to level one. This does away with a lot restrictions that were placed around mass gatherings and social distancing. New Zealand will however continue to implement strict border controls for the forseeable future.