NZ regulator delays decision on SkyCity EGM swap

New Zealand’s gaming regulator has reserved its decision on SkyCity Hamilton’s application to swap three blackjack tables for 60 electronic gaming machines, following a six-day hearing. 

Such swaps are permitted under New Zealand’s gaming legislation, although this is the first application of its type.

SkyCity had made the application as it said it would meet the demand for more EGMs and fewer table games.

However, there were 250 objections filed in opposition to the application from the public, mostly arguing that the city and the casino already had either enough or too many gaming machines. SkyCity currently has 339 EGMs in operation in its Hamilton facility.

The Gambling Commission’s decision is said to be determined on a key issue argued at the hearing: whether the surrender of three blackjack tables for 60 more machines is “proportionate” as required by the relevant parts of the legislation.  

The hearing ended with closing arguments on Tuesday afternoon and a decision is expected to be made public before Christmas.