NZ's SkyCity to build convention centre; gaming machines to rise

WELLINGTON Sun May 12, 2013 4:15pm EDT

WELLINGTON May 13 (Reuters) - The New Zealand government said on Monday that it had reached agreement with casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Ltd to build a national convention centre in return for an increase in gaming machines and other rules changes.

SkyCity will build, own, and operate the convention centre at an estimated building and land costs of NZ$402 million ($332 million).

Economic development minister Steven Joyce said SkyCity would have its gaming licence extended to 2048, be allowed to operate a further 230 gaming machines, 40 new gambling tables, and other change to rules.

He said the project is expected to create 1,000 jobs in construction and 800 jobs when the centre is open, with an annual injection of around NZ$90 million.

Shares in SkyCity, a top-10 stock, closed on Friday at NZ$4.40.

($1=NZ$1.21) (Gyles Beckford)

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