After months of negotiation, Sky City and the New Zealand government have come to an agreement on their convention centre deal. The casino operator will build the $402 million venue in return for 230 poker machines and an extension of its gambling license. The deal has come under fire many times, and there was doubt that it would ever come to fruition.
Over the course of the past year, Sky City and Prime Minister John Key have been criticized for keeping the details of the deal quiet. The Auditor General was even called in to confirm the legitimacy of the deal. Now, those difficulties are a distant memory. Sky City is the official builder of Auckland’s new convention centre.
Although the cost was originally estimated at $350 million, Sky City will be shelling out $402 million to build the venue. $315 million will be spent on construction and $87 million will go towards land costs. The convention centre will be greatly beneficial for the city of Auckland. It is estimated that the venue will bring in 33 000 convention delegates every year, boosting the local tourism industry.
The convention centre will also create 1000 construction jobs and 800 jobs once the centre is open for business. "This will make us more competitive on the international stage," says Sky City head Nigel Morrison. "It will allow the company to provide the facilities and services that our interstate and international guests expect." In return for making such a significant investment, Sky City will reap some huge benefits.
In addition to obtaining 230 new pokies and 40 new table games, the operator’s gambling license has also been extended. Originally, the license was set to expire in 2021. Now, SkyCity Auckland can operate until at least 2042.