MIDDAY UPDATE: SkyCity plans A$300M upgrade for Adelaide

By Paul McBeth

Dec. 19 (BusinessDesk) - SkyCity Entertainment Group plans to spend about A$300 million doing up its Adelaide casino after settling on an appropriate size and regulation for its South Australian operation.

The parties have been negotiating for the past two-and-a-half years, and have reached an accord to let SkyCity extend its state exclusivity in table games, automated table games and ‘premium VIP Gaming’ for another 20 years.

Investors have given the settlement the thumbs up, with SkyCity shares climbing 4.1 percent to a three-week high $3.77.

The deal allows SkyCity to increase electronic gaming machines (EGMs) in Adelaide by about a third to 1,500 and lift the total of table games to 200 from 110. SkyCity can also install cashless gaming technology for its EGMs and ‘ticket-in ticket-out’ technology in VIP Premium gaming areas.

In return, the state has set new tax rates for gaming with an increase in non-VIP electronic games to a maximum of 41 percent from 34.4 percent and a new VIP electronic game tax of 10.9 percent. Non-VIP table game tax rates increase to 3.4 percent from 0.9 percent while VIP table games stay at 0.9 percent.

Annual current account deficit narrows in third quarter

New Zealand's annual current account showed a smaller annual deficit in the year ended Sept. 30 as the country's trade surplus declined and foreign investors earned less from their kiwi investments.

The current account gap was $9.89 billion in the year ended Sept. 30, from a deficit of $10.09 billion three months earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand. The current account shows how much New Zealand earns from the rest of the world in comparison to what foreigners earn locally.

The actual deficit rose to $4.42 billion in the latest quarter from $1.8 billion in the second quarter, in line with forecasts.

SuperLife gets out the cheque-book with investments in Energy Mad, Wellington Drive

SuperLife Investments has opened up its wallet and doled out $3.1 million to two strugglers on the NZX.

The financial services firm with some $900 million under management invested $1 million into energy efficient light bulb maker Energy Mad today, and received shareholder approval to inject $2.1 million into electric motor maker Wellington Drive Technologies yesterday.

Both companies have been struggling to make ends meet, and will use the funds to keep their aspirations to enter global markets alive.



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