Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd [SKC.NZX] had Friday morning received approval for the 340 plus million expansion of the Adelaide Casino and together with the 400 plus million expansion of the flagship outlet at Auckland, NZ received earlier this month will combined with borrowing costs, shell out the best part of 850 million dollars.
While the latter has been widely canvassed on this blog and other media the former is picked to be more of a game changer than the latter with an amendment to the state's Casino Act allows for a 20-year extension of SkyCity's exclusive casino licence until 2035, the introduction of cashless gaming and ticket in, ticket out (TITO) technology, lower gaming tax rates for VIP gaming, an increase in slot machines by about a third to 1,500 and an increase in gaming tables to 200.
By comparison the major features of the Auckland agreement, in addition to an extension of the Auckland Casino Venue Licence to 30 June 2048, the Heads of Agreement provides regulatory reform for SKYCITY’s Auckland property, comprising: An additional 230 gaming machines and 40 gaming tables plus 12 gaming tables that can each be substituted for 20 automated table game player stations.
So, what the aussies are saying is that they will gain a 6 star hotel - yep a 6 star - and a revamped casino, heaps of additional gaming tables and up to 500 extra gaming machines for 20 years. That is well up on what Sky City got and it cost them 50 million less.
All that aside though, is that the Aussies also changed gaming laws, just like we did over here, and it was just as stead fastly done as it was in Auckland.
Then where is the opposition!
I did a quick google for both OZ and NZ and came up with years and years of opposition to the Auckland Casino and very little for the Australian one - are Australians really that against more jobs, more tax, more revenue from a new development?
Apparently not but we over here seem to be against it with our own newspaper editors writing columns multiple times and people having opinions based on flimsy ideas like public assets not getting a fair deal.
What it is is a private investment in two areas that will require more private investment as the years move on, bigger, brighter and classier than these two buildings - in 10 years time we will have to do it all again and continue to invest.
Hopefully we will have settled down by then, we will be perhaps inclined to accept the generosity of others when they invest money and expect a return for it - and not have bureaucrats stick their noses in.