SkyCity expands partnership with Gaming Innovation Group

SkyCity Entertainment will expand its partnership with GiG.
SkyCity Entertainment will expand its partnership with GiG.

The casino operator will invest US$23.3m in Gaming Innovation Group to support the funding of GIG’s acquisition of Sportnco.

New Zealand.- SkyCity Entertainment has announced it will invest €25m (US$23.3m) in Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) after expanding its strategic partnership. GiG is a European-based online gaming platform provider and media services operator and has been a strategic partner to SkyCity following the launch of SkyCity Online Casino in August 2019.

GiG has entered into a Sale and Purchase Agreement to acquire 100 per cent of Sportncom, a European online sports and player account management provider, for a headline price of €70m.

Michael Ahearne, SkyCity’s CEO, stated: “We are excited that SkyCity is expanding its strategic partnership with the GiG team.

He added: “We view the equity investment in GiG as both strategic and value accretive for SkyCity shareholders.”

Richard Brown, GiG’s chief executive officer also stated: “We are also delighted to bring on SkyCity as a new shareholder, a company held in high regard within the land-based segment of the industry, as a GiG shareholder and Board member.

“Both companies’ outlook and focus around the ever-evolving digitalisation of gambling is expected to enable strategic gains, with GiG benefiting from decades of retail experience to finetune our offering and SkyCity benefiting from first-hand digital experience that GiG holds, and new opportunities brought about by the transaction with SportNCo.”

SkyCity H1FY22 performance to be impacted by land-based closures

SkyCity Entertainment Group has shared an update on trading, revealing that earnings have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and multiple lockdowns, especially in Auckland. However, the company noted a new record for online gross revenue of more than NZ$5m in September. 

In the first month of the current financial year, online revenue reached NZ$3m, up 30 per cent year-on-year. In August, it saw a record of NZ$4m when SkyCity’s venues in Auckland and Hamilton were closed due to new Covid-19 restrictions. 

The casino operator expects revenue from online casino will continue growing and estimates the New Zealand market could produce NZ$300m in revenue annually at maturity. The company also said tourism-related businesses will continue to be negatively impacted by international border closures in the following months.

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