SkyCity to buy Queenstown casino from Lasseters


SkyCity Entertainment Group Ltd. reached a deal to buy Lasseters Wharf Casino in Queenstown for NZ$4.5 million ($3.6 million) in cash from Singapore’s Lasseters International Holdings Ltd. Lasseters Wharf is licensed to offer six gaming tables and 74 gambling machines. It posted a loss of NZ$412,346 on gaming revenue of NZ$2.08 million in the year to June 30, 2012. SkyCity bought the 40 percent it didn’t already own of SkyCity Queenstown Casino, the city’s other casino, in December for NZ$5 million from Skyline Enterprises. Lasseters, which still owns a casino in Alice Springs, Australia, several gaming websites and Australian pubs with gambling machines, said it would use the proceeds to pay debt and for working capital.

Meanwhile, the Green Party is seeking to rally opposition to SkyCity’s deal with the government to build a new NZ$402 million convention center in Auckland in exchange for expanded gaming rights, arguing it is likely to cause more problem gambling. The deal gives SkyCity the right to add 230 gambling machines in Auckland, but the casino says it was seeking to add 500.