17 Jul 2013

SkyCity cleared to buy second Queenstown casino

12:45 pm on 17 July 2013

The Commerce Commission has cleared casino operator SkyCity to buy Queenstown's Wharf Casino, meaning it will own both casinos in the resort town.

The Commerce Commission said Queenstown cannot sustain two casinos under different owners as both existing casinos are too small, and neither provides adequate experience to attract premium gamblers.

Commission's chairman Mark Berry says casino gambling is heavily regulated in New Zealand and he does not believe the removal of competition will hurt casino users.

SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison says he's pleased with the Commission's decision.

He says Queenstown is already New Zealand's leading tourism destination and has a huge potential for tourism growth.

SkyCity owns casinos in Auckland, Hamilton and several cities in Australia.