Thu, Jul 2, 8:56am by Charlotte Lee
New Zealand-based casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group has reopened its gaming, entertainment and hospitality facilities in Adelaide and also revealed that its recent NZ$180 million (US$115.3 million) share placing drew strong support from investors.
iGaming Business reports that consistent with its approach when re-opening casino properties in New Zealand, SkyCity’s Adelaide Casino will recommence operations in a staged manner, with reduced operating hours.
The casino had been closed for a number of months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other measures that will be put in place at the property include only permitting active members of its rewards programme access to the casino, with capacity subject to a maximum of one customer per two square metres at any time.
This will mean that up to 2,200 people, including patrons and staff, will be allowed inside the property.
SkyCity will also implement distancing measures, such as limiting the number of players at each gaming table, as well as introduce enhanced hygiene protocols throughout the facility.
Most food and beverage outlets will reopen at the casino, while SkyCity will put in place a new system to support contact tracing, primarily through surveillance, guest registers, identity scanning and loyalty card use.
The reopening was made possible after South Australia’s government moved to the third and final stage of reopening the state’s economy amid the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.
— iGB (@iGamingBusiness) June 30, 2020
New Zealand-based casino company SkyCity Entertainment Group has launched an A$215 million (NZ$230 million) equity raising to strengthen its balance sheet after shutting down during the coronavirus pandemic.
Perth Now reported in June that SkyCity board chairman Rob Campbell said despite encouraging trading since reopening in New Zealand, the outlook remains uncertain as the company adjusts to the new social and economic settings.
SkyCity said it had secured waivers from its debt covenants through to mid-2021 as well as NZ$160 million in new bank funding, which was contingent on SkyCity raising NZ$200 million in net funding.
“The equity raising will ensure that SkyCity remains appropriately capitalised and provides certainty to allow for the delivery of the strategic plan for the business,” Mr Campbell said.
The equity raising consists of a fully underwritten NS$180 million institutional placement and a NZ$50 million share purchase plan.
The institutional placement will be at NZ$2.50, a 6.4 per cent discount on its last closing price of NZ$2.67 on the NZX.
SkyCity said its New Zealand properties reopened last month, except for its Queenstown wharf casino, while it expected Adelaide Casino to reopen later this month.
A NZ$330 million expansion of the Adelaide Casino is still on track to be completed by October.
SkyCity said it has received an initial NZ$105 million insurance payment for the New Zealand International Convention Centre project in Auckland, which was hit by a devastating fire in October, after a worker apparently left an unattended blowtorch on the roof.
SkyCity said the NZ government had granted it a two-year extension on the NZ$750 million project, to January 2, 2025.
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 reported in May 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.
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