It Seems The Boot Is On The Other Foot For SkyCity Auckland Remaining Standby

Image by Samuel Ferrara
Article by : Helen Aug 28, 2020

Gambling establishments in New Zealand got an advantage due to the low number of Covid-19 infections. SkyCity Entertainment Group was able to resume its activities back in May and open its doors to numerous visitors. However, these positive trends did not last too long. It seems that the casinos operating in New Zealand once again have found themselves in a stalemate.

It would seem that SkyCity is confident doing business in tough times. However, the disappointing forecasts and an increase in Сovid-19 infection cases instantly turned the situation upside down. The casino operator was forced to close its gambling establishments last week. According to preliminary estimates of the company’s management, it was a three-day break. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that the casino will be closed for a significantly longer time.

According to the company’s official information, gambling establishments in Auckland won’t be able to continue their activities for an unknown time. They will be closed starting from August 6, 2020. The company’s management explains such a decision by official information from the government as the Covid-19 infection in Auckland has reached Alert Level 3. This means that restrictive measures will continue, and the government will take desperate steps to ensure citizens’ safety. The Covid-19 situation in the rest of New Zealand looks a little better and refers to Alert Level 2.

The brand has decided that other properties owned by the company, namely SkyCity Hamilton and SkyCity Queenstown, will continue to operate. The regions where these objects are located witnessed Alert Level 2 only. Another gaming establishment of the brand, located in Australia, namely SkyCity Adelaide, will continue its work with minor restrictions. In any case, the profit that the company is now receiving is vital. This keeps the brand afloat.

The casino complies with all mandatory government directives to ensure hotel guests and visitors’ safety. This applies primarily to necessary social distancing and the provision of personal protective equipment and disinfection. SkyCity Auckland hotels continue to serve guests. However, it is still unclear if they will be open for future bookings.

Initially, New Zealand was considered one of the safest areas during the global Covid-19 pandemic.

This situation played into the hands of the local casinos and entertainment establishments. They were able to return to their usual activities much faster. After 100 days, not a single case of coronavirus has been recorded. Then the government was faced with precisely the converse situation. Day by day, the number of infected patients only increased. After reaching an indicator of 88 new patients with coronavirus in a day, the country’s leadership decided to introduce additional restrictive measures.

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 epidemic has a very negative economic impact on SkyCity. The operator has already had to lay off about 1,000 employees due to two months of downtime. Even the profits made over the past few months seem to be used solely to pay off operating costs and keep the company afloat.

Today gambling in New Zealand is controlled exclusively by the Department of Internal Affairs. The bulk of the gambling industry is owned by the state and pays substantial tax deductions. Gambling appeared in New Zealand thanks to European settlers in the late 19th century. Any gambling activity in the country was considered illegal until 1908 when the law on gambling was passed. The law officially allowed betting on horse racing. New Zealanders, as a very gambling nation, could not walk past online casinos. Gambling websites and platforms started operating in 1994. Microgaming became the first online slots provider in New Zealand.


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