Image: SkyCity Entertainment Group

SkyCity Entertainment Group has extended the closure of its Auckland casino and entertainment facilities due to mandated government restrictions as New Zealand continues to combat the reemergence of COVID-19 in the country.

Implementing the level two and three restrictions last week after a cluster of cases were found in Auckland, the country’s largest city, the ruling came after the jurisdiction recorded its first new cases of coronavirus in 102 days.

Alongside the extended restrictions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has also announced a four week delay to the country’s general election, from September 19 to October 17, citing difficulties for parties to campaign.

Following a government announcement that the COVID-19 alert level will remain at three in Auckland and two for the rest of New Zealand until 11.59pm on August 26, 2020, SkyCity has seen closures in its home city remain. 

Previously a three-day lockdown saw residents in Auckland given guidance to remain at home, a ban imposed on large gatherings and non essential businesses close. 

With some social-distancing restrictions being reintroduced in the rest of the country, SkyCity’s Hamilton and Queenstown properties remain open at alert level two with physical distancing and hygiene requirements in place. 

Graeme Stephens, SkyCity CEO, noted on the initial re-closure last week: “SkyCity is fully complying with this latest update from the New Zealand government. SkyCity is well prepared to respond quickly to these changes and is in a strong financial position to withstand the financial impacts of these temporary restrictions.” 

Last month SkyCity rolled-out plans for a “key pillar” of its $330m Adelaide transformation, with ‘The District’ project to feature Australia’s first fully functional microbrewery within a casino.

Announced following a “historic partnership” alongside Pirate Life, The District at SkyCity intends to bring together all venues on level one, incorporating a poker zone, sports bar, the Pirate Life microbrewery, live entertainment, and Bistro.

The company’s wider expansion project is expected to create approximately 1,000 jobs throughout construction, and 700 ongoing roles upon completion, with recruitment for some roles having already commenced and to continue through to mid 2021.