SkyCity Entertainment Group is preparing to entire a new vertical of online casino, after its Malta subsidiary signing a long-term agreement with Gaming Innovation Group.

Set to launch a turnkey online casino solution, including the technical platform, fully managed services, gaming content, front end development, CRM, compliance and marketing, GiG is to operate the site from its Maltese home, offering online activities to consumers in New Zealand.

Slated to launch in the third quarter of this year, expectations suggest that the country will regulate online casino gambling in the foreseeable future, overseen by New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs, which regulates all gambling in the country.

Robin Reed, CEO at GiG, said of the new partnership: “I am delighted that GiG is partnering with SkyCity, we share the same high standards and ambitions for a safe, responsible and entertaining gaming experience for the end users.

“With this landmark deal, we are also entering a completely new continent where we can build on our ambition as the global partner for strong brands in igaming.

“We look forward to supporting SkyCity in its expansion into the online space, where our full suite of products and solutions all form part of a very competitive offering to its online customers. New Zealand is preparing for regulation of online casino gambling, and we are there to support our partner further when it happens.”

Being supported by GiG, SkyCity has stressed an aim of becoming the leader in gaming, entertainment and hospitality in jurisdictions within which it operates, built on the cornerstone of responsibility.

The company, listed in both New Zealand and Australia, owns four of the six land-based establishments that are in operation in the former.

Graeme Stephens, CEO of SkyCity, added: “SkyCity is delighted to be partnering with GiG to establish an online casino offering, based in Europe. Growing and diversifying our earnings is a key component of our group strategic plan, and developing an online presence to complement our existing land-based casinos in New Zealand will enable us to offer an enhanced gaming proposition for customers.

“GiG are an exciting and innovative technology company with best-in-class teams, systems, platforms and products, and importantly share our focus on responsible gaming and host responsibility. We look forward to working with Robin and the team as we enter an exciting phase of growth at SkyCity.”