SkyCity Entertainment has reached a new deal with State Government as part of their $330m casino expansion in Adelaide. The new arrangement will help SkyCity Adelaide Casino attract a broader range of high rollers.
Those VIPs will qualify for entry into premium gaming rooms with an annual spend of $8,000 per year instead of $12,000. They will also be able to invite up to four guests rather than just one as was allowed under previous rules. The concessions became effective Wednesday.
The Advertiser’s Adelaide Now online news service reports that SkyCity will also be able to invite up to 1,000 new customers to apply for premium gaming services.
Longtime gambling antagonist, Senator Nick Xenophon was not happy with the changes approved by the Independent Gambling Authority. He indicated that making it “easier” to qualify for VIP room entry will make the casino, “one big Venus fly trap.” He also reportedly said that the casino’s expansion would not be good for small retail and hospitality businesses or problem gamblers.
“They’re the ones who will be paying for this so-called riverbank showpiece,” he said. “But this expansion is going to be a misery magnet for gambling addicts,” the InDaily reports the Senator said.
SkyCity Entertainment Group chief executive Graeme Stephens said in a statement: “We believe there is demand for more quality hotel rooms in Adelaide from both domestic and international visitors. This provides a better-balanced product while also helping South Australia realize its full potential as a premium tourist destination.”
The concessions come along with final agreement on a casino expansion and revitalization project, which has been in the works since 2012. SkyCity will erect a 12 story boutique hotel, rather than the 11 floors originally planned and increase the room count from 89 to 123. The new Adelaide casino will feature three new restaurants, bringing the total to five along with three new bars. The new casino is expected to offer over 1,000 gaming machines and 140 gaming tables with 30 of those to be placed in four new VIP rooms.
The price tag for SkyCity’s $330 million revitalization and expansion is just part of almost $1 billion in public and private investment in the Festival Plaza precinct. The railway station will receive a new entry, a new plaza will be constructed and a $500 million 27 story office tower will be opened.
Construction of the new casino and hotel is expected to begin in early 2018 and be completed in the third quarter of 2020.