Casino operator SkyCity's high rollers, the uber-rich who can book their own VIP gaming salons on private floors, walked away with bulging wallets this year.
Usually Asian, these clients gave the house a run for its money this year.
The high rollers pushed $3.8 billion across SkyCity's tables in the year to June, compared with $1.9b the year before.
The difference though is that this year more punters got ahead of the casino's theoretical win rate of 1.35 per cent.
“[High rollers] had a good period these last six months. They won a little bit above what they should have,” SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison said.
Last year SkyCity was well ahead of the win rate at 1.98 per cent. In the latest year that almost halved to just over 1 per cent. But the house still wins - it took $38.6 million off its well-heeled customers.
The turnover this year has jumped since SkyCity created Horizon, new private gaming salons and hotel suites for international VIP players.
Meanwhile, SkyCity yesterday confirmed $35 million plans for a luxury hotel above its Hamilton property.
SkyCity Hamilton general manager Arthur Pitcher said the hotel would add to its attraction for top-end customers.
SkyCity Entertainment Group formally confirmed the hotel plans yesterday after reporting an 8 per cent growth in profits for the year to June 30.
SkyCity chief executive officer Nigel Morrison said he had a lot of confidence in the Waikato region and the company would shortly finalise plans for the development of a 4+ star hotel with 135 rooms above its Hamilton property.
The hotel will include eight luxury suites for premium customers, 16 large suites with river frontage balconies, and 111 standard rooms. The hotel plans also include a five-lane swimming pool, sauna and gymnasium.
Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker said she was delighted to see SkyCity continuing to support and invest in Hamilton.
"The city does need more of these high-quality hotels and I think this is complementary and positive news for the city," she said.
Mr Pitcher said the casino was going from strength to strength.
"We support investment in to the Hamilton city growth story and believe the hotel development brings much-needed quality hotel accommodation to central Hamilton. It will significantly improve the facilities that we are able to offer to our existing and future customers,” he said.
“Our Hamilton business continued to grow, with revenue of $52.1m, up 8.8 per cent showing the strength of our product offering in the Waikato region,” SkyCity chief financial officer James Burrell said.
Mr Pitcher said there were no plans to expand the casino's gaming floors.
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