SkyCity announces more job cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic

by Noah Taylor Last Updated
SkyCity bans junkets immediately

SkyCity has announced that it has let go 700 more staff members amid the coronavirus pandemic.

New Zealand is one of the countries that identified and contained COVID-19 most quickly and effectively.

Its response to the pandemic was swift and thorough, but hasn’t been enough to spare more job losses at the casino, which has venues in Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown.

Casino Aus reports that New Zealand did so well at the restrictive level 3 recently that officials this week moved to Level 2.

This means New Zealanders can resume most of their regular activities.

With safety measures in place, businesses are allowed to open, schools resume classes and travel between regions can begin again.

As SkyCity casinos planned its reopenings with limited staff and much unknown in the timeline going forward, the company had to stand down a large number of its employees.

The casino operator blames the weaker economy, lower personal disposable income, reformed entertainment habits and mass gathering restrictions.

It says it is reopening as a “smaller, domestically-focused business.”

SkyCity Entertainment Group chief executive Graeme Stephens announced a further reduction in the company’s workforce with 700 more people let go.

“For a company that is centered around its people this is incredibly difficult for all involved,” he said.

“At SkyCity, we are a family, and it is incredibly tough to say goodbye to valued team members, however, we need to ensure our business is best prepared to operate in the new environment.”

The move is expected to save the company about $50 million.

Stephens emphasised the company will work with former workers and unions as the employees depart.

As for the SkyCity Adelaide Casino in Australia, this property is in limbo regarding its reopening.

The Australian government and health officials are taking more time with reopening of businesses than New Zealand, with casinos likely to be in the last phase of most reopening orders.

SkyCity grows brand with hotel management

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, SkyCity Entertainment Group moved to grow its hotel portfolio by creating a dedicated hotel management company in an effort to create a wider network of SkyCity branded properties.

Hotel Management Australia reported in September that part of the company’s strategy to grow its hotel sector through new projects beyond its day-to-day operation at its Auckland headquarters and flagship city casino and resort.

The new division will take over management of SkyCity’s existing network including its flagship Auckland casino and resort, Horizon Hotel in Auckland and Adelaide Casino.

The new division says that in addition to its existing network, a number of other projects were in various stages of planning.

Leading the new division as Group GM Hotels will be Brad Burnett, backed up by Colin McClean as GM – NZ Hotel Operations.

The remainder of the team will include Glenn Hallam as Director of Development and Caroline Ah Chong-Douglas as Director of Sales and Marketing.

“The new centralised SkyCity Hotels Group function will allow us to not only synergise operations across our sites, but also encourage a Group focus to ensure that we continue to expand and provide experiences and entertainment that excite and inspire our guests, each and every time they come and stay.

“SkyCity is truly committed to its hotel growth strategy and we look forward to sharing more developments and exciting changes in the coming months,” Burnett said.

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