SkyCity Auckland First Major Casino Resort to Strip COVID-19 Safety Measures

Posted on: October 6, 2020, 01:50h. 

Last updated on: October 6, 2020, 02:15h.

SkyCity Auckland in New Zealand is set to become the first major integrated resort (IR) casino in the world to do away with strict regulations that were implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19.

SkyCity Auckland New Zealand casino coronavirus
SkyCity Auckland (seen here) plans to get back to normal this week by removing coronavirus restrictions at the large casino resort. (Image: SkyCity Auckland)

Beginning on Thursday, October 8, SkyCity Auckland will return to normal operations. The casino changes are a result of the New Zealand government moving the city to an Alert Level 1 in its COVID-19 Alert System.

New Zealand is currently averaging only several new positive cases each day over the past month. Therefore, the government believes Auckland, its largest city, is ready to follow the rest of the country and move to Level 1.

Under Level 2, SkyCity Auckland was only accessible to the casino’s Premier Rewards members. Come Thursday, the casino will open to the general public. Alert Level 2 means the coronavirus disease is contained, but there remains a risk of community transmission.

SkyCity Hamilton and Queenstown reopened to the general public on September 22. However, those casinos are much smaller operations. SkyCity Auckland is thought to be the first major gaming property to fully lift coronavirus restrictions.

Back to Business

Soon SkyCity Auckland will be free of restrictions on gatherings, and social distancing will not be enforced.

But before you book a ticket to New Zealand to gamble and entertain yourself freely, the government says entry restrictions remain on anyone coming into the island country.

Controls at the borders remain for those entering New Zealand. This includes health screening and testing for all arrivals, and mandatory 14-day managed isolation or quarantine,” the government explains.

SkyCity Auckland has 2,100 slot machines and over 100 table games on the main floor. The casino additionally has a private VIP space for high rolling guests, and a 20-table baccarat room.

The IR complex has nearly 1,000 hotel rooms and suites, over 20 restaurants and bars, and approximately 200,000 square feet of convention space. Perhaps the casino’s most distinctive attraction is Sky Tower, which stands 1,076 feet tall and is a staple of the Auckland skyline.

New Zealand Safety Standards 

SkyCity says it will continue to conduct entrance temperature checks on guests but at random. Patrons who refuse to be screened will be denied entry. The resort will also keep pace with increased cleaning frequencies of high-touch areas.

New Zealand forced SkyCity Auckland to close on August 12. The government allowed the resort to reopen on August 31 in reduced capacity and social distancing measures in place.

Being an island country in the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand has been able to limit the spread of coronavirus through border restrictions. To date, the country has reported just 1,858 COVID-19 cases and 25 deaths.