New Zealand casinos to reopen

By Violeta Prockyte

SkyCity Entertainment Group announced it will resume operations in three of its casinos in New Zealand, with Australia’s venue remaining closed. The re-opening will take place on 14 May in three locations: Auckland, Hamilton and Queenstown.

The decision came after the New Zealand government loosened its COVID-19 restrictions. The casinos, which were closed in March, are set to re-open with reduced working hours. Government regulations dictate there should be no more than 100 people present at the same time, which includes both guests and staff.

Entry to the casinos will be limited to SkyCity Premier Rewards tier members, in order to better keep the track of the visitors. The casino will enable the option to sign up for a membership on the spot as well.

The gaming floor will also be separated into separate zones to maintain a limited number of people.

Slot machines will be set up to comply with social distancing, and there will be fewer seats set up for gaming tables.

SkyCity CEO Graeme Stephens assured visitors and staff they have a comprehensive plan on how to stage a safe re-opening and thanked them for their understanding during this hard time.

The reopening comes as good news for SkyCity Group, as it had to lay off close to 200 employees once the pandemic began. As part of damage control, the group also indefinitely stopped all expenditure projects. During the lockdown, the company reported it was losing close to NZ$90 million (US$53 million) per day.

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