SkyCity punts on bigger profit at casinos

Adelaide casino operator SkyCity is betting on bigger profits this financial year as the expanded venue and its New Zealand ones help earnings.

The company, which has three casinos in New Zealand, has been welcoming gamblers back as Australia and New Zealand better control coronavirus outbreaks.

SkyCity on Friday forecast a full-year net profit after tax of between $NZ84 million ($77 million) and $NZ88 million ($81 million).

Those figures would be better than last financial year. 

Profit by the same measure fell to $NZ66.3 million after casinos closed in early 2020 due to the pandemic.

The company said shareholders could expect a final dividend in 2021.

The Adelaide casino expanded in December and SkyCity said this had helped the consistency of earnings.

Customers playing gaming machines in the New Zealand casinos were also contributing to better earnings.

The casinos’ tourism trade, which includes hotels and SkyTower in New Zealand, continue flagging due to limits on overseas visitors in the two countries.

However domestic tourism is offsetting some losses.

SkyCity has also run an online casino for New Zealanders since 2019.

The company will publish its full-year earnings on August 25.

Shares were trading even at $3.31 at 1531 AEST on Friday.

On Monday, the company revealed financial crimes watchdog AUSTRAC may have found serious problems in its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing controls.

The watchdog will continue to investigate how high risk customers were managed at the Adelaide casino in the 2016 and 2019 financial years.

SkyCity said it has not been told what action may be taken.

The regulator has fined companies for not meeting their legal obligations.

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