Written By Janice Doughtrey

The Adelaide Casino run by SkyCity Entrainment Group is set for a $330 million facelift.

The South Australia government allowed the NewZealand casino operator to go ahead with the expansion plans, with construction set to commence in 2018.

In the ambitious plan a plush, 123-room hotel will be added to the complex which will also offer extended VIP gaming sections, three restaurants, and bars. An additional 1,100 electronic gaming machines are also part f the expansion plans, alongside 140 gaming tables.

Chief Executive Graeme Stephens expressed his excitement about the project, noting that up to 1000 construction jobs and 800 ongoing jobs will be created.

The Independent Gaming Authority approved the proposed changes in the general outlook of the entertainment joint, which includes an increase in the number of guests passes issued to a premium client in high-roller areas from one to four.Other changes include reduced fees required for classification as “premium customer” from $12,000 to $8,000 annually.

In allowing these changes, the government hopes to increase interstate and overseas tourists to South Australia as Australian Premier Jay Weatherill noted. The Adelaide Casino will take advantage of the favorable changes to be more competitive locally and internationally.

Adelaide casino General manager, Luke Walker said that customers could expect a revitalized social, entertainment and gaming spaces and redesigned gaming spaces.

Mr. Walker also pointed out that the go-ahead was granted after lengthy negotiations with the government, and that they will use every opportunity possible to maximize on it.

Under the new expansion plan, there would be no additional gambling licenses, Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said regulations and oversight will continue in and that more focus was given to VIP access to gaming rooms.

According to the minister, the changes are supposed to help the casino have more people accesses the premium gaming areas, adding that there was no government financial incentive to facilitate the deal.

There is already some work in progress at the site, with the complete upgrade expected to end I 2020. Casino executives said that the development would go along way in revitalizing the Riverbank area.
The expansion plan has also received a positive nod from the state’s Development Assessment Commission which said that it was satisfied with the proposals and that they SkyCity had fulfilled key requirements for the plan.

The expansion plans will go along way in turning around SkyCity’sreenues which had shrank considerably to $ 900 000 in the first half of the year. Chief Executive Graeme Stephens said the demand for more quality hotels from both domestic and international visitors gives them a chance to balance products while giving South Australia to further prove its potential as a premium tourist destination.

The refurbishments of Adelaide Casino is expected to fuel excitement among industry players, and it will be interesting to see how it affects the industry. With additional gaming options and reduced premium rates, VIP gaming options are expected to be among the top earners for the casino.