SkyCity to Resume Casino Operations in New Zealand with Strict Social Distancing Measures in Place

Casino operator SkyCity Entertainment has revealed that it set to resume its operations in selected centres across New Zealand as of May 14th.

The company shared plans to restart operations in Auckland, Queenstown and Hamilton as of Thursday, with the country authorities have shifted the coronavirus pandemic measures to Alert Level 2. In late March, the Government of New Zealand moved the measures to alert level 4. The gambling operator also shared that it would restart the offering its services in stages, with the venues set to be run in reduced operating hours that would at first be based on client demand.

The casino company revealed that gaming terminals would be configured in a way that would permit physical distancing between visitors of the casino. The number of individuals allowed at gaming tables would also be reduced in correspondence with the social distancing measures.

The beginning of the week saw SkyCity reveal a possibility to lay off an additional 700 employees to the 200 workers it proposed to make redundant last month. The casino operator has also revealed that the process of restructuring would save approximately AU$50 million. Back in April, Graeme Stephens, the chief executive officer of SkyCity revealed that the company faced lost revenue of almost AU$90 million on a monthly basis due to the nationwide coronavirus closures, including labour costs worth AU20 million.

Main Gaming Floors to Feature Specific Zones to Reduce the Number of Visitors

The casino company, which had been known for a large proportion of foreign visitors as customers, has suffered significant negative impact due to the border closures that were imposed as part of the measures aimed at tackling the further spread of the coronavirus pandemic. SkyCity revealed that it would keep its smaller property in Queenstown, the Wharf Casino venue, shut, despite the larger casino venue would reopen.

Social isolation measures would include the establishment of specific zones on the major gaming floors to make sure that no more than 100 individuals (staff members and visitors) were at one place at a time.

The operator also revealed that casino entry would be only limited to the members of the SkyCity Premier Rewards. At first, this would be limited to certain membership tiers in Hamilton and Auckland. Apart from that, facial recognition technology would be used at the large casino venues, and guest registers would be used at other venues, as well. The facial recognition technology has already been used in SkyCity’s casino venues in Auckland, Adelaide, Hamilton and Queenstown.

The decision came after the Government of New Zealand relaxed the restrictions that were imposed to tackle the spreading of the coronavirus infection across the nation. The reopening of the casino operations comes as good news for the gambling company that had already been forced to dismiss about 200 employees since the beginning of the pandemic.

  • Author
Olivia Cole

Olivia Cole

Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.
Daniel Williams
Casino Guardian covers the latest news and events in the casino industry. Here you can also find extensive guides for roulette, slots, blackjack, video poker, and all live casino games as well as reviews of the most trusted UK online casinos and their mobile casino apps.

Related news