23 Jun 2010

Casino operator targets international big spenders

9:04 pm on 23 June 2010

Sky City is planning to invest up to $20 million to encourage more international high rollers to visit its Auckland casino, as local gamblers remain wary about parting with their cash.

Chief executive Nigel Morris says gaming revenues remain sluggish and the casino has yet to see the impact of a recovering economy.

But he says the group's highly profitable international business, which provides VIP services for big spenders, is growing strongly.

Mr Morris says architects have drawn up plans to revamp the rooftop area of the Sky City Hotel, which will quadruple its capacity to entertain VIP guests and international high rollers, many of whom spend $150,000 on a single hand.

Sky City is also developing Auckland's Federal St precinct, and has lodged an expression of interest to build the National Convention Centre on Hobson St.

Shares in Sky City, which have slid 20% in the last year, rose 5c on Wednesday to close at $2.92.