How Covid-19 Has Hit The New Zealand Casino Market

Robert Longthorpe - Senior Writer
Robert Longthorpe
18 February 2022 in News
SkyCity Financial Loss In The New Zealand Casino Market

It’s no secret. Covid has taken its toll on the world, and the land-based New Zealand Casino sector is not exempt from this. Unlike real money online casinos, landbased casinos have had to shut their doors, affecting their bottom line to no end. Just recently, SkyCity Auckland had to close down to adhere to the regulations. Now, SkyCity is ready to spill the beans on just how badly things have been affected.

SkyCity Reports Staggering First Half Loss

One of the most prominent casino chains within New Zealand has to be the SkyCity group.

This casino offers land-based casino outlets in:

  • Auckland
  • Hamilton
  • Queenstown
  • Adelade

One would think this would be a profitable enterprise. However, a recent report released by the casino would suggest otherwise.

How SkyCity Casino Had Been Affected

As mentioned above, the SkyCity group is among the largest in the New Zealand Casino market. However, this meant that when lock down occurred, they were hit hardest.

Below is outlined the various establishments owned by the group, and how long they were closed for:

Establishment Days Required To Close 2021
SkyCity Auckland 107
SkyCity Hamilton 65
SkyCity Queenstown 22
SkyCity Adelaide 8

Although at first glance, all casinos bar Auckland seem to have not been hit too badly by closure. However, as a whole, the SkyCity group had to shut the doors of its group for 202 days in total.

One can imagine how a closure of more than half a year would affect ones bottom line.

However, total closure wasn’t the only thing accountable for the loss of profit. According to the group's CEO, Miachale Ahearne


"When permitted to reopen, the properties have operated under significant constraints due to restrictions on mass gatherings and physical distancing requirements."

So How Bad Was The Loss?

All in all, the SkyCity Casino group reported a first half loss of $33.7 million.

This can be broken down into the following noteworthy key figures:

Six Months Ended Dec 2021 Six Months Ended Dec 2020 Change %
Net Profit (Loss) Post Tax ($33.7m) $77.9m -143
EBIDTA $20.4m $105.5m -86
Revenue $289.8m $449.9m -35.6

Apart from this, the company’s share price dropped by nearly 5%. Ahearne reports that


"Covid has continued to extensively impact the business and operations at each of SkyCity's properties in the first half of the financial year."

But not all seems to be lost.

How SkyCity Plans To Combat The Hit To The New Zealand Casino Market

Within the last few months of last year, the SkyCity group invested a staggering $40m into their online spots booker outlet based in Malta.

According to Ahearne,


"The performance of the SkyCity Online Casino business has been a real highlight for the period, again exceeding expectations with significant growth in revenue, EBITDA (underlying profit), and customer numbers,"

This bodes well for the group in an online scenario, however, what is being done to insure the survival of the land-based New Zealand Casinos? Ahearne suggests,


"Turning to the outlook for FY22, we will continue to focus on navigating through the ongoing uncertainty and near-term challenges presented by Covid-19 while ensuring financial resilience through ongoing cost and capital control and effective cash management."

Our Top NZ Online Casinos May 2023
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