A lot of work has gone on to improve facilities for gamblers across New Zealand over recent years, including new buildings, increased entertainment options and plush hotels. And, it seems to be paying dividends with an increase in casino spending for the year to June that has just been announced.
Here we will look at how the improvements, combined with a strong economy, have boosted casino spending.
Tourism increase boosts casino spending
The New Zealand economy is in a very strong position with record levels of tourism being a key factor. This has resulted in a 2.6 per cent increase in general gambling spend, however, perhaps more significantly an 11.1 per cent increase in spending at casinos. Tourism, combined with general higher income rates and the improved casino facilities has resulted in more people visiting the casinos, instead of staying at home.
As well as an increase in players enjoying the classic casino games like blackjack, roulette and poker, more money is also being spent on sports betting, racing and the lotto. Essentially, all aspects of gambling have seen an increase given the economic situation. On average, each New Zealander is spending around 600 dollars a year on gambling and the disposable income available to players will heavily influence that figure.
SkyCity NZ continues to benefit
One of the casinos to particularly benefit has been SkyCity casino in Auckland. A part of the SkyCity Entertainment group, the rise in tourism has seriously helped their profits, which proved to be pivotal for the company. That’s because the Australian market was slumping and they therefore relied on the rise of the Auckland based casino. A profit of around $AUD83.8m up to December 2016 was recorded, up on the previous year which was $71m.
SkyCity Auckland was responsible for most of that, with a growth of 12 percent in the second quarter alone. That accounted for nearly 80% of the firms EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization). Whereas, in Australia the number of VIP players which includes many high rollers had significantly dropped off, leaving the company short in that area.
Yet, in more positive news, the growth in New Zealand is forecast to continue to grow, if not at the rapid rate it had done over the past few months. Continuous campaigns to boost visits are working whilst the increased investment in SkyCity casino has clearly benefitted. It now boasts around 130 table games and 1,700 gaming machines, ensuring players are treated to many options. That includes the facilities receiving a multi-million-dollar upgrade, resulting in new gourmet dining options as well as changing the interior of various rooms, including the gaming area.
Ultimately, gambling in New Zealand is currently in a very strong position. Whether you want to load a classic game through Lucky Nugget Casino or visit major casinos like SkyCity in Auckland, the thrill of playing is appealing more now than ever before!