26 Jul 2013

SkyCity strikes pokie deal in South Australia

8:21 pm on 26 July 2013

SkyCity's Adelaide casino has had its licence extended by 20 years and will be allowed to operate 500 extra gaming machines after the South Australian Government passed changes to gambling laws.

The government and opposition reached a compromise which saw maximum bet limits for gaming machines halved, but the number of machines and venues maintained, before the bill was passed.

SkyCity will spend $A300 million building a six star hotel and expanding the casino into a world-class entertainment complex.

The deal is similar to the one SkyCity struck with the New Zealand Government and which is currently before Parliament.

That could see a $400 million convention centre built in exchange for 230 extra gaming machines and SkyCity's Auckland licence extended by 27 years.

SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison says they are fair deals for both countries, but acknowledges it's been a lot harder to strike a bargain in New Zealand.

"There are a lot of casinos in Australia, they're probably more readily accepted in Australia than in New Zealand."

Mr Morrison says the investment will create about 1000 jobs and construction will start early next year.