Skycity Entertainment Group

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Skycity Entertainment Group Limited
Traded as ASXSKC, NZX: SKC
Industry Entertainment: Casinos and Hotels
Founded 1996; 21 years ago
Headquarters Auckland, New Zealand
Key people
John Mortensen (Interim CEO)
Rob Hamilton(CFO)
Products Casinos and Hotels

Skycity Entertainment Group is an entertainment and gaming business owning and operating monopoly casinos in New Zealand (Auckland, Hamilton and Queenstown) and Australia (Adelaide and Darwin), alongside a variety of restaurants and bars, luxury hotels, convention centres and Auckland's Sky Tower.

The company's shares are traded on both the Australian and New Zealand Stock Exchanges, reported net profit after tax (NPAT) was $128.7 million, with the Group seeing record revenue exceeding $1 billion for the first time in the country's history. SKYCITY currently has an interim CEO, John Mortensen, following the resignation of previous CEO Nigel Morrison in May 2016.[1]

The group came into existence in 1996 when the company was established as the owner of the Skycity Auckland complex. In 1998 it took over the operations from the previous gaming operator Harrah's Entertainment.[2]

SKYCITY casinos often depend to a large degree on several hundred high-stakes gamblers, often from East Asia, who may gamble hundreds of thousands of dollars in one visit to a casino.[3]


Since opening its original Auckland casino on 2 February 1996, Skycity has expanded its operations to several New Zealand and Australian cities.

In June 2000, it bought the Adelaide Casino. It added another casino to its portfolio when it opened Skycity Queenstown in the alpine resort of Queenstown. In July 2004 it bought the Darwin Casino and Hotel from MGM Mirage and rebranded it as Skycity Darwin. Then in June 2004 it acquired a 40.5% holding in the Christchurch Casino when it bought Aspinal Limited.

On April 7, 2016, it was announced by the company that longtime CEO Nigel Morrison would be stepping down as managing director and chief executive effective April 29. The SkyCity board has appointed John Mortensen, Chief Operating Officer of the company's New Zealand Operations, as interim chief executive pending a global search for new chief executive.[4]


The Skycity group owns six casinos in Australia and New Zealand - SKYCITY Auckland, SKYCITY Hamilton, SKYCITY Queenstown, SKYCITY Wharf Casino, Adelaide Casino and SKYCITY Darwin.


Adelaide Casino, was bought by SKYCITY Entertainment Group in June 2000. It has 90 gaming tables and 990 gaming machines. It has the only table gaming licence issued out by the South Australian Government, giving it a monopoly over the gambling business in the state.


Skycity Auckland is New Zealand's largest casino. Located in Central Auckland, it provides table and slot machine gaming, with 1647 gaming machines and 110 gaming tables. The facility includes the 328 metre tall Sky Tower, two hotels, convention centre, a 700-seat theatre, and more than 20 restaurants and bars with regular live bands, DJs and other entertainment. It opened on 2 February 1996. By 2017 it will also house a convention centre catering for up to 3500 guests, costing $402 million.[5]


Skycity Darwin, formerly known as the MGM Grand Darwin, is the only casino in Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, Australia. Skycity Entertainment Group bought the casino, which includes a 5 star hotel from MGM Mirage, on 23 June 2004 for $140 million US. Skycity Darwin houses 700 gaming machines and 40 gaming tables.


Skycity Hamilton is a casino in Hamilton, New Zealand, that opened in September 2002. It has 339 gaming machines and 23 tables, a restaurant and a bar, with live music and other performers on Friday and Saturday nights. It is part of the Riverside Centre on the Waikato River, which includes bars, restaurants and ten-pin bowling all operated by SKYCITY Hamilton.


Skycity Queenstown opened in December 2000. It has 160 gaming machines and 18 gaming tables.



SKYCITY Hotel, Auckland is a four-star casino hotel and was opened in February 1996. It is one of New Zealands busiest hotels and is located inside the main Auckland complex, which includes the 328 meter Sky Tower, more than 20 restaurants and bars and the casino. It serves mainly families, business people and casino customers. It offers 323 rooms, which were refurbished in 2013.[6]

SKYCITY Grand Hotel is a luxury five-star hotel and was officially opened by Prime Minister Helen Clark in April 2005. It is not located inside the main complex but is adjacent and is connected by an "Air Bridge". It serves VIPs, business people and high stake gamblers who play at the casino. Many celebrities have stayed at the hotel including Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Justin Bieber. The Grand features 21 floors and 316 rooms. The rooms comprise The Grand Suite, 8 Self Contained Suites, 11 King Suites and 296 rooms. The room interiors were designed by Chhada Siembieda (specialists in luxury hotel interiors and responsible for the "W" hotel chain as well as the Hayman Island Resort, Sydney Hilton and the Hotel Intercontinental in both Sydney and in Hong Kong). Facilities and services include 24-hour room service and reception, a heated lap pool, fitness center with personal trainers, sauna, health spa, baby sitting and a hotel doctor.[7]


SKYCITY Hotel, Darwin was opened in July 2004. It was originally known as the "MGM Grand Darwin" until Skycity Entertainment Group bought the hotel and re branded it as Skycity Darwin.

The casino was originally granted a licence in 1979 and opened at its current premises in 1983.[8] Until 2004 it was known as the MGM Grand Darwin. The SKYCITY Entertainment Group purchased the hotel in 2004 for $195 million and took ownership on 23 July 2004.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ryan, Holly (7 April 2016). "SkyCity boss Nigel Morrison resigns". NZ Herald. 
  2. ^ "US gambling giant linked to SkyCity". The Dominion Post. 2007-09-26. 
  3. ^ Hembry, Owen (1 March 2007). "SkyCity hit as luck changes for VIPs". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Ryan, Holly (7 April 2016). "SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison resigns". NZ Herald. 
  5. ^ "Govt confirms $402M convention centre deal". 3 News NZ. 13 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "SkyCity Hotel official site". 
  7. ^ "SkyCity Grand Hotel official site". 
  8. ^ "Skycity Confirms MGM Grand Darwin Acquisition". 11 February 2004. Retrieved 15 January 2008.