Monday 17 October 2016 03:48 PM
SkyCity shares fall after reports of Chinese crackdown on gamblers
By Edwin Mitson
Oct. 17 (BusinessDesk) - SkyCity Entertainment Group shares fell after a news report in the Australian Financial Review that 18 staff employed by its Australian rival, Crown Resorts, have been arrested by the Chinese government.
In a statement to the AFR, Beijing said the individuals were being investigated for “suspected involvement in gambling crimes.”
Shares in the Auckland-based casino and hotel fell 3.2 percent, or 15 cents, to $4.49, outpacing a 0.9 percent sldie in the NZX 50 Index.
At the publication of its full-year results in August, SkyCity said that it's international business boosted earnings before interest and taxation to $37.3 million due to what it termed new 'grand horizon' gaming salons in Auckland, which it said had been popular with Asian VIP customers. It also said these salons, a new salon in Adelaide, would ease capacity constraints during peak periods such as Chinese New Year and Golden Week.
AFR said three Australians were amongst those arrested in the raids. In China it is illegal to arrange for more than 10 people to gamble overseas.
Shares in SkyCity have risen by 5.9 percent since the start of the year.