In New Zealand, the boss for local casino operator, SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited, has warned investors that the convention center and 300-room hotel his firm is building next door to its SkyCity Auckland venue may not be open on time.

Work falls behind schedule:

According to a report from Asia Gaming Brief and Radio New Zealand, the Auckland-based casino firm broke ground on its 344,445 sq ft New Zealand International Convention Centre and adjacent five-star Horizon Hotel in 2016. They detailed that this work subsequently fell behind schedule by some six months to give both projects anticipated opening dates in December of next year.

Costs continuing to rise:

However, Graeme Stephens, Chief Executive Officer for SkyCity, advised investors on Friday that the provisional opening dates for both Auckland venues could be about to be pushed even further into the future while explaining that the whole enterprise had gone over its initial $400 million budget by an increasing but unspecified amount.

Stephens told investors…

“This does remain a challenging project and we continue to deal with issues as they arise.”

Operator blames main contractor:

Stephens also told investors that the main contractor for both projects, Fletcher Construction, had faced several delays before hinting that his firm may be forced to take legal action if it incurs damages as a result of further holdups. SkyCity had earlier declared that it wanted to host its first event inside the freshly-completed New Zealand International Convention Centre in early-2020.

Fixed-price reassurance:

SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited is responsible for four casinos in New Zealand alongside two in Australia and previously reportedly stated that any delays in finishing the Auckland projects would not impact its own financial position because it had earlier agreed a fixed price with Fletcher Construction.

SkyCity Darwin sale in the works:

Away from Auckland and Stephens reportedly told investors that his firm was currently engaged in negotiations about the possibility of selling its SkyCity Darwin venue and will endeavor to restrain future spending while conducting a review into its assets.