On January 26th, SkyCity in Auckland announced that over the previous six months, high roller gamblers from China have increased by 33% and the casino has been doing everything possible to increase that number many times over. New Zealand gambling laws permit casinos under a very strict licensing structure.
SkyCity would like to capture more of the mainland Chinese gambling market, as has Macau which now generates 400% more revenue than Las Vegas Strip, on account of wealthy mainland Chinese gamblers. Macau has reported record earnings of US$23.5 billion dollars.
Air New Zealand, SkyCity and New Zealand Immigration has reached an agreement for priority ‘fast-track’ visas for known Chinese mainland high-stakes players according to Ejaaz Dean, SkyCity’s internet gambling relations president.
In addition to Macau, Singapore two years earlier opened two 5-star casinos which took some of the mainland Chinese high-rollers away from both Macau and New Zealand. The fast tracking of visas will permit Chinese high stakes players to instantly receive a New Zealand visa.
“Sure, we lost some of our Singaporean clients, but we have a lot of things in New Zealand that Singapore can’t replicate. We have great golf here, vineyards, and these are things that attract high-rollers here, rather than Singapore. Most of what’s fuelling the growth is high-stakes players from mainland China”, Mr. Dean stated. New Zealand permits its citizen to gamble at foreign online casinos but only allows online sportsbooks in New Zealand.
Business from SkyCity’s international clientele grew by 100% with China taking the first place ahead of Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.