What's The Forecast For NZ Land-Based Casinos For 2022

Robert Longthorpe - Senior Writer
Robert Longthorpe
28 January 2022 in News
New Zealand Casino Club News Week 1 2022

It's safe to safe that Covid-19 affected the New Zealand casino industry massively. For a while, New Zealand’s casino industry believed that things were going back to a relative state of normal in a new COVID-19 reality. Even though NZ online casinos had been operating throughout, there is still a lull with landbased casinos. It was expected that the country’s borders would soon open up and once more inbound foreigners could fly in and frequent New Zealand’s excellent land-based casinos.

However, the tourism and casino industry was left to swallow the bitter pill that new regulations will continue to keep foreigners out for an undetermined period. As such, land-based gambling establishments won’t be seeing overseas visitors on their casino floors until well into this year.

Higher Numbers Lead to Tougher Restrictions

At the end of November last year, the John Hopkins’ Center for Systems Science and Engineering published alarming numbers. In the middle of August, 2021, New Zealand’s 7-day average for positive COVID-19 cases was a mere three. By November, 2021, that number had climbed to nearly 200.

Based on these worrying statistics, New Zealand had to abandon the idea of letting tourists return to its borders. At the beginning of 2022, citizens living overseas will be allowed to return home, but – for now – entry for foreigners is a no-go.

What This Means for New Zealand’s Casinos

Many of the country’s land-based casinos see a large part of their income coming from foreign gamblers. Casinos such as those run by SkyCity Entertainment Group will be seriously impacted by the government’s decision to keep foreigners out.

SkyCity has substantial traffic from Asian countries such as China, who flock to their casinos in Auckland and Queenstown. Thanks to these foreign VIP players, SkyCity Entertainment Group has seen growth of nearly 40% over a decade. Just a few years ago, Chinese activity at SkyCity-owned casinos was around $18 million, and just before COVID-19, this number increased to a whopping $123 million.

SkyCity Auckland Opens Under New Traffic Light System

Recently, SkyCity Entertainment reopened its Auckland property under New Zealand’s new traffic light system. “There is no doubt about it at the red setting hospitality is still really challenging with the capacity constraints and so on,” said SkyCity Entertainment’s CEO, Michael Ahearne.

But he said that the fact that there was a date for Auckland to move from red to orange helped everyone in the hospitality and entertainment sector move into the new year with a little more confidence.

Our Top NZ Online Casinos May 2023
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