Skycity domestic gaming recovery encouraging

SkyCity Entertainment is describing trading activity in its New Zealand business since reopening on 14 May as “encouraging”.

“Domestic customers have returned to the SkyCity properties despite limited capacity, restrictions around mass gatherings, and physical distancing requirements,” said the company in a statement.

The domestic gaming businesses in Auckland and Hamilton have delivered very pleasing performances, particularly in electronic gaming machines (EGMs), while table game revenues have been steadily improving from a slow start.

Entry to all SkyCity’s New Zealand casinos is restricted to its Premier Rewards members as a health and safety measure.

The company did not provide any revenue figures but did say that hotel occupancy was averaging 32 percent with occupancy of up to 90 percent on weekends due to special offers.

Food and beverage revenues were growing steadily, but the company expected these to remain “significantly lower” than pre-COVID-19 levels until the country moves to Alert Level 1.

In a U-turn this week the New Zealand Government has brought forward by two weeks its decision date for moving to alert level one and will now make a decision next Monday.

New Zealand has only one active case of COVID-19 and has now gone eleven days without any new cases.

Under alert level one, the border would remain closed at least until a trans-Tasman travel “bubble” is established with other borders expected to remain closed for many more months.

SkyCity’s Chief Executive Graeme Stephens, says the company’s Auckland and Hamilton properties are currently running at levels that are profitable and cash positive, but the company was still proceeding with plans to make 700 staff redundant.

It is also progressing “the development of a funding plan to support the business over the medium-term” a business Mr. Stephens says will be smaller and more domestic focussed.