New Zealand

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison announced that the company and the state have agreed the preliminary design, and executed an amended ...

SkyCity’s CEO announced that it is making good progress with the government towards finalizing the preliminary design of the New Zealand International Convention Centre.

New Zealand Racing Minister Nathan Guy has urged the government to crack down on online gambling operators which are depriving the government of vital taxes.

Following an announcement in November in which the New Zealand Racing said it had created a task force to look into monitoring remote online betting, Guy said that the rising popularity of remote based operators was undermining the state run TAB which New Zealand Racing operates. The government estimates gamblers spend around NZ $300 million (£150 million) with remote operators.

The Australian and New Zealand market is poised to see strong growth in its VIP gaming market this year, benefiting from Macau’s downturn, according to a report by Morgan Stanley Research analysts.
VIP gaming market growth is expected to be 48 percent and 26 percent for the fiscal year 2015 to 2016, respectively, an upward revision from 35 percent and 10 percent.
Echo Entertainment Group, Crown resorts and SkyCity “are driving structural VIP growth by providing junkets with better working capital and commission rates vs. Macau. [Echo] is most levered to VIP growth.”

The New Zealand government will consult the gambling industry and the public on proposed changes to gambling fees, Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne announced.
Currently the cost for the government to regulate gambling exceeds the revenue generated by current fees.
"Gaming machines in pubs and clubs produce most of the fees' revenue but pokie numbers have fallen further than forecast and this decline has not corresponded with a decline in the need to regulate the Class 4 gambling sector," said Dunne.

Skycity and the government have agreed to extend the approval date for the revised design of the Auckland convention center.
In an announcement, Skycity said the last date for design approval will be April 30.
“SKYCITY announces that it and the Crown have formally agreed to extend the last date for approval of Preliminary Design of the New Zealand International Convention Centre to 30th April, 2015.”

SkyCity will make $27 million ($20 million) in the next two years without doing a single thing to build its controversial convention centre in Auckland, New Zealand’s Green party claims.
The party’s claim of an unearned benefit is because the value of gambling concessions is fixed at 2013 rates while building costs are rising, which the Greens say with a fixed price contract “means the taxpayer gets less the longer construction is delayed.”

New Zealand Rugby has begun monitoring global betting patterns in an attempt to prevent match-fixing as the sport moves into Asia’s large financial markets.
NZ Rugby has signed a two-year deal with international company Sportradar to detect betting irregularities on Super Rugby matches - the largest professional rugby union football competition - involving a New Zealand team, local media reported.

The New Zealand stock exchange operator, NZX, says it is looking into a spike in trading of SkyCity shares after the country’s first leader made claims the trading volume was unusual.
FMA compliance director Elaine Campbell told Radio New Zealand that the NZX is looking into the allegations made by First leader Winston Peters that the 3.4 million SkyCity shares traded on Friday 13th - 2 million more than what was traded before and after that day- was unusual as it coincided with an agreement made between between the government and SkyCity that was not made public.

SkyCity may end up building a smaller convention center in downtown Auckland after public funding for the project was ruled out by the government.
SkyCity has now agreed to withdraw its bid for public funds after a cost blow out pushed the cost of the convention center from AUS$402 million ($300 million) to as high as $395 million.
The company had previously agreed to build the 3,500 seat convention center for free in return for a 28 year extension to its casino license, more tables and pokie machines and other concessions.