SKYCITY Entertainment Group
POWER SCORE: 714
POSITION LAST YEAR: 33
CLAIMS TO FAME
- Former boss of South Africa’s biggest casino operator
- Overseeing company expansion in both land-based and online sectors
In a world devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, New Zealand’s SkyCity Entertainment Group may well have emerged as one of the industry’s great survivors.
Buoyed by relatively low virus numbers in the jurisdictions in which it operates, SkyCity’s flagship Auckland property was closed for just seven weeks between March and May, followed by another short closure in August, while its Australian IR SkyCity Adelaide was closed for just over three months.
By early June, the company said its New Zealand properties were already “cash positive” thanks to the strength of its domestic market.
Despite COVID-19 and a damaging rooftop fire in Auckland in October 2019, SkyCity is nearing completion of two key expansion initiatives comprising development of a NZ$700 million international convention center and connected hotel at SKYCITY Auckland and AU$330 million redevelopment of SkyCity Adelaide.
The company also reported profit of around NZ$2.2 million in the first full year of operations of its Malta-based, New Zealand-facing online casino, SkyCityCasino.com – an operation that looks set to surge in the post-COVID world.
For Graeme Stephens, now in his fourth year in the top job, there seems to be plenty to get excited about in the coming years.
For the full list of 2020 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.