SkyCity trades convention center for Auckland extension


SkyCity Entertainment Ltd. reached a deal with the New Zealand government under which it will build and operate a NZ$402 million ($333 million) convention center in Auckland and expand its problem gambling program in exchange for an extension of its casino license for the city and rights to add tables and slot machines. SkyCity will be able to add 52 gaming tables and 230 slot machines, including the casino’s first machines with cashless operation and the first to accept bills of NZ$50 or more. The casino will install systems to allow gamblers to pre-set limits on slot play by time or value and will increase its monitoring for potential problem gamblers. Its license, which was to expire in 2021, is to be extended to 2048 with guaranteed compensation if the government changes SkyCity’s gaming concession. The convention center is to open in 2017. The government is believed to have just enough backing to get the deal through parliament.