SkyCity Adelaide closes its doors after fresh COVID-19 outbreak

By Mia Chapman Updated
SkyCity Adelaide announces vaccine mandate for staff and visitors

Adelaide’s only casino has joined rivals in Sydney and Melbourne in being forced to close its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Inside Asian Gaming reports that SkyCity Entertainment has announced the suspension of all gaming and entertainment activities at SkyCity Adelaide for at least the next three days after an outbreak of COVID-19 originating in Sydney continues to spread across state borders.

The closure is in response to the South Australian government imposing new restrictions across the state after three cases of COVID-19 were detected on July 19.

Under the Level 4 restrictions, non-essential retail outlets must close, only seated food and beverage is allowed, large events have been cancelled and masks made mandatory.

SkyCity said its hotels would remain open to accommodate current guests.

SkyCity Adelaide is now the third Australian casino to suspend operations, with The Star Sydney closed until at least July 30 and Crown Melbourne expected to remain shut as Victoria’s lockdown measures are extended.

The latest wave of COVID-19 sweeping the country began when a limousine driver in Sydney contracted the highly contagious Delta variant while transporting airline crew to their hotel in mid-June.

Sydney’s cases have since ballooned to more than 1000, including more than 100 new cases in recent days.

The virus has also spread south thanks to a group of removalists who ignored lockdown orders to travel from Sydney to Victoria and on to South Australia, despite two of them having already been informed of a positive test result.

SkyCity forges ahead with Auckland project

While SkyCity has had to deal with a venue closure in Adelaide, it received some positive news in mid-July, with an extension granted by the New Zealand government for the completion of the New Zealand International Convention Centre project.

While the company is still targeting a 2024 finish date, it said the additional time, until late 2027, provides a buffer between the programme date and the long stop date under its New Zealand International Convention Centre Project and Licensing Agreement.

The extension comes after SkyCity Auckland suffered a huge blaze on the roof of the US$520 million development in October 2019, which saw casino operations temporarily shut down and guests evacuated.

“SkyCity intends to provide a further update on the NZICC project on August 25, when it releases its FY21 result to the market,” the company said.

“SkyCity advises that there is no material change to previous guidance for the total project costs of around $750 million.”

In financial news, SkyCity is expecting a normalised net profit after tax between NZ$84 million and NZ$88 million in 2021, compared with NZ$66.3 million last financial year.

The company’s local gaming business in New Zealand has continued to see strong performance, while its Australian casino, SkyCity Adelaide, has shown consistent performance.

The company has already recently established an offshore online gaming arm, SkyCity Malta, which has produced consistent performances.

Star Sydney shuts in mid June

Star Entertainment Group issued an announcement soon after the NSW Premier made the lockdown order, saying Star Sydney was located within an affected area and would “cease operations, apart from limited hotel facilities, from this time as a result of the orders.”

The company said it would continue to pay its staff during this period.

It is the fourth time The Star Sydney has been forced to either suspend operations or introduce capacity limits since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the most recent coming at Christmas due to an outbreak on Sydney’s northern beaches.

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