In New Zealand and local casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited has announced that it is to begin re-opening its shuttered gambling-friendly facilities in the communities of Auckland, Hamilton and Queenstown from Thursday afternoon.

The Wellington and Sydney-listed firm used an official press release to detail that the move comes after it was forced to temporarily shutter the three venues from March 23 as part of a government campaign that was designed to help stop the spread of a coronavirus strain that has so far killed 21 locals.

Thursday traffic:

SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited revealed that its SkyCity Auckland, SkyCity Hamilton and SkyCity Queenstown properties are to once more begin welcoming VIP patrons from May 14 before re-opening fully on Sunday afternoon. The operator moreover stated that the move is to encompass the implementation of a new government-approved ‘health management framework’ and follows the recent lowering of the island nation’s coronavirus alert level.

Protection pledge:

Also responsible for Australia’s Adelaide Casino, SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited asserted that it remains ‘committed to delivering robust health and safety standards to manage the risks associated with coronavirus’ and will be creating distinct ‘zones’ within its three New Zealand venues so as to prevent the simultaneous congregation of more than 100 people. The company also pronounced that the properties are to endeavor to reduce crowing by increasing the distance between individual slot machines, lowering the number of seats at its gaming tables and eliminating the practice of ‘back betting’.

Supplementary steps:

Graeme Stephens, Chief Executive Officer for SkyCity used the press release to proclaim that his firm’s venues in Queenstown, Hamilton and Auckland are to initially limit casino patronage to members and support a government-led contact tracing initiative by utilizing facial recognition technology. He declared that the trio of properties will be furthermore restricting restaurant bookings to groups of fewer than ten people, implementing a range of new physical distancing measures, increasing cleaning services and the availability of hand sanitizer and wipes and allowing all guests to wear protective face masks.

Read a statement from Stephens…

“We have a comprehensive plan in place to ensure our guests and staff feel safe; backed up by contact tracing protocols. We are looking forward to welcoming our customers back to [our venues] and we thank them for their understanding during our period of closure. Our priority will continue to be the safety of our customers and our staff.”