SkyCity share price shoots up after National confirms deal under discussion

SkyCity announced big profits today, but still has its hand out for a taxpayer top-up to the pokies deal.

The Government’s willingness to pay means the casino has already had a win ? a jump in its share price.

SkyCity casino boss Nigel Morrison was in a giving mood, announcing a $66 million profit made in just six months.

But at the same time Mr Morrison is trying to take money off the taxpayer, the casino is on track to get a cash top-up to the pokies deal.

“Obviously we are in discussions with the Government, and from our point of view we are open to discussing different things,” says Mr Morrison.

“Different things” being a euphemism for the tax payer pouring in over 100 million dollars into a private company making a good profit, and getting?nothing in return. ?

Those discussions are all about the taxpayer making up a funding shortfall for the convention centre. Yesterday, Prime Minister John Key wouldn’t rule it out.

While taxpayers might not like that, investors did. The SkyCity share price rose 13 cents yesterday to $3.90 per share.

The deal was meant to be that SkyCity builds a $402 million convention centre, while the Government changes the law for more pokies.

But SkyCity is now claiming extra costs of $70 million to $130 million and wants the taxpayer to top that up.

That’s a problem for Mr Key because he promised Kiwis they would get the centre for free.

National should walk away from this. ?It’s not only the right thing to do, it also means they won’t be affecting the core supporters who will seriously consider a vote for another party in the event National stuff this one up.


– Patrick Gower, 3 News