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Sky City Buys Adelaide Casino

A New Zealand group has purchased the Adelaide Casino for between $180 and $190 million, around $50 million more than analysts predicted. John Howard reports.

The Adelaide Advertiser newspaper is reporting today that the Sky City Group, owner of Auckland's casino, has purchased the Adelaide casino with the sale expected to be announced by the South Australian government later today.

The Adelaide casino has 767 poker machines and 72 gaming tables.

Apart from owning the Auckland casino, Sky is involved in casinos in Queenstown and Hamilton.

The South Australian government is the last state government to have an interest in a casino through its superannuation corporation, Funds SA, which owns the casino.

The casino sale has been a lengthy process after it was withdrawn from the market in 1998 because of poor profits. But in June last year the government revived its plan to sell when profits rose 22 per cent to $21.2 million.

Sky City managing director, Evan Davies, said last month the company was looking beyond New Zealand and Australia was the obvious place to invest.

Sky's decision to look at SA in part followed a NZ Government decision to place a moratorium on issuing new casino licenses.

The casino was offered for sale on a stand alone basis and not as a package as it was earlier with the Hyatt Regency hotel and the Riverside office building which were also owned by Funds SA.

Sky City must be cleared by the Gaming Supervisory Authority before the sale is concluded.


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