Sat, Dec 22, 8:07am by Ed Scimia
Adelaide Casino will see a significant increase in the number of pokies and other games available to gamblers, thanks to an update to SkyCity’s license. The new license will keep SkyCity as the exclusive casino operator in Adelaide until at least 2035, and also will allow the casino to greatly expand their current operations.
At the moment, the Adelaide Casino features 995 poker machines and 90 gaming tables. The new license allows for an increase of 505 pokies, for a total of 1,500. It also allows SkyCity to operate up to 200 gaming tables, more than double the current amount.
South Australian Treasure Jack Snelling said that the massive increase would be well regulated to ensure it didn’t encourage problem gambling or otherwise harm local citizens or the local economy.
“These will be very thorough protections,” Snelling said, “and of course all of this will have to be approved by the Independent Gaming Authority.” According to SkyCity, these protections will include a voluntary pre-commitment system on all machines and all gaming tables in the casino.
The expanded gambling options will be just one part of a large redevelopment project for the casino. Along with more machines and tables, patrons will also be able to take advantage of a new hotel, a rooftop pool lounge, and a number of new bars and restaurants.
Of course, the expanded casino will also mean significantly more tax revenue for South Australia. However, Senator Nick Xenophon has argued that the increased tax revenue may not be quite as significant as it looks on paper thanks to a tax break on VIP play.
“The casino could end up paying a lot less than we think they will because they will be getting a 75% tax cut when it comes to their so-called VIP room,” Xenophon said. The Senator also questioned whether the casino might push moderate gamblers to play higher stakes in an attempt to get them into VIP rooms, where the casino would benefit from the reduced tax rate.
SkyCity owns and operates five casinos in Australia and New Zealand. These include venues in Auckland, Adelaide, Darwin, Hamilton and Queenstown.
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