Thursday 31. December, 2015

Tougher Economy in Australia for SkyCity Entertainment

Gaming company, SkyCity Entertainment, has experienced strong growth in New Zealand thanks to its successful Auckland Casino, compared to the performance of its Adelaide and Darwin casinos in Australia.

SkyCity experienced stronger than expected growth in New Zealand due partly to an increase in the number of tourists over 2015. SkyCity is hoping to see similar growth in its Adelaide and Darwin casinos as it has seen in its Auckland and Queenstown casinos over the last year, although with Australia’s softer economy this is likely to be difficult.

“We tend to contrast Australia against New Zealand and in particular Auckland,” stated Nigel Morrison, Chief Executive at SkyCity. “New Zealand is going well, but Auckland is going even better and it’s definitely a lot harder in Adelaide and Darwin. I think there are some headwinds out there particularly with the decline of manufacturing in South Australia… but we think being able to tap into the tourist market is a big opportunity.”

Darwin has experienced eighteen months of huge economic growth due to major construction projects in the area, but that is now winding down and with the reduction of workforce in the area, there has been a corresponding reduction in casino and hotel visiting in the area. SkyCity expects revenue growth to be challenging in the Northern Territory.

In Adelaide, SkyCity has spent $50 million on its casino over the last few years and is expected to start a major $300 million upgrade and expansion project in the first half of 2016.

According to Mr Morrison, SkyCity’s international business has been growing successfully as the company attracts high-roller VIP gamblers from Asia to its casinos across both countries. 2016 may see some changes for the company across both countries.


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