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SkyCity grows brand with hotel management

Mon, Sep 30, 11:52am by Mia Chapman

New Zealand’s SkyCity Entertainment Group has 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 reports the move is 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.

Sky City profits down after lucky year for baccarat players

Casino operator Sky City says it made $137 million in profit in 12 months to June 30, down 14.7 per cent from a year ago, following the sale of its Darwin property and as international gamblers got lucky on baccarat, The West reported last month.

The Kiwi casino and entertainment company said the high stakes gamblers who bet $14.1 billion at Sky City casinos had a good year, resulting a house “win rate” of just 1 per cent and costing Sky City $26.4 million in profit for the year.

Baccarat has a theoretical win rate or house advantage of 1.35 per cent – meaning that for every $100 bet, the casino retains $1.35.

In the nine years before last, Sky City’s win rate averaged 1.33 per cent and was 1.32 per cent in fiscal 2018 but has been below 1 per cent before.

“Bet size and frequency of play can vary and cause win rate to deviate from the theoretical over discrete periods,” the company said.

Sky City said that stripping away the impact of its unlucky win rate, the $188 million sale of its Darwin casino to Delaware North in April and the sale of a car park in Auckland resulted in a normalised net profit after tax of $164.4 million, up 1.9 per cent.

Sky City kept its dividend unchanged; ASX shareholders will be paid 11.7647 NZ cents per share, unfranked.

Sky City said its international convention centre and five-star hotel project in Auckland was progressing more slowly than hoped, but its $330 million expansion of its Adelaide casino was on-time and on-budget, and expected to open in October 2020, in time for the T20 Cricket World Cup.

The development will include a 123-room luxury hotel, a wellness centre and more restaurants and bars.

SkyCity’s new bar and restaurant, the Guardsman, is set to open in the Adelaide Railway Station in November.

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