Coronavirus: SkyCity casino shuts down games and reduces players at tables

Monday 16th March 2020

SkyCity casino has shut down a number of its tables and ramped up cleaning procedures over concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

The casino and hotel chain, which has venues in Auckland, Hamilton, Queenstown and Adelaide, in Australia, has made a number of changes to operations just a day after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced large gatherings should be abandoned.

Ardern said gatherings of 500 or more people should be cancelled to try to prevent the community spread of Covid-19.

Graeme Stephens, CEO of SkyCity Entertainment Group, said SkyCity was able to control the number of people at its venues.

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"Our business is similar to a shopping centre in that we have a number of smaller venues within a larger precinct. In the case of SkyCity we can control the decisions for each venue across the entire precinct."

The main changes include player numbers at tables being reduced to five, some machines being turned off to ensure a safe distance between people, a ramp up of cleaning services and an increase in hand sanitisers for staff and guests.

The Tour de Force, where New Zealand military and emergency response teams run up 1103 steps to the top of the Sky Tower, has also been cancelled.

SkyCity wanted to make significant changes to SkyCity's business activities to increase social distancing and customer safety, Stephens said.

According to SkyCity, any guest who is showing flu-like symptoms will be removed from the venue for the safety of staff and guests.

Its restaurants and online casino are operating as usual.

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