The SKYCITY Entertainment Group has revealed the Darwin Casino was its worst performing property during the last financial year. Excluding international business, SKYCITY Darwin was down 5.3% in revenue.
The poor performance has been attributed to an increase in competition from other local pubs and clubs, since the Northern Territory government removed the cap on how many pokie machines a venue can hold. Under NT laws, clubs can now house a maximum of 55 pokies, while pubs can offer a maximum of 20.
John Mortensen, interim chief executive officer of SKYCITY said, “SKYCITY Darwin achieved disappointing results which were adversely impacted by challenging trading conditions in the Northern Territory. The decline in SKYCITY Darwin’s performance was primarily driven by weaker hotel demand and reduced food and beverage covers. Local gaming revenue was soft having been adversely impacted by increased competition from pubs and clubs.”
Mr Mortensen said that despite these disappointing results, Darwin remains a key asset within the SKYCITY group and that “despite the external challenges, SKYCITY remains confident with the medium to long term outlook for Darwin.”
So sure is SKYCITY of the impending success of the Darwin Casino, they recently applied for a five-year extension of the casino license. David Christian, newly appointed general manager has announced plans to put a large focus on the casino’s entertainment offering, with a greater focus on live music.
Overall, SKYCITY has nothing to worry about, with the International Business division taking in a record amount of revenue – a turnover of $12.4 billion, or an increase of 32.7%.
Mr Mortensen attributed the success of international business to the continued investment in the development of new facilities and the growth of the customer service team. He said, “Growth in our international business continues to be supported by the increased recognition of our first-class service offering among Asian VIP customers, a continued focus on direct relationships and increased play at higher table differentials.”
Darwin’s SKYCITY Casino is open 24 hours, seven days a week. It’s home to over 750 electronic pokie machines, including many progressive jackpot games. The VIP services are targeted strongly at the international market, where players get exclusive access to two luxury gaming rooms, the Lotus Room and SKYROOM, which offer sophisticated amenities, special benefits and dedicated VIP hosts.