WELLINGTON Feb 1 New Zealand casino operator
SkyCity Entertainment Group declined to say whether it would
enter the growing gaming market in the Philippines after a local
media report said it was considering launching an NZ$200 million
venture in Manila this year.
The top-5 company, which operates casinos in New Zealand and
Australia, on Friday tempered speculation of an imminent entry
into what would be its first Southeast Asian market.
"Whilst we have visited the Philippines and consider the
market to be attractive, there is nothing that requires
disclosure to our shareholders," Chief Executive Nigel Morrison
said in a statement.
The New Zealand Herald newspaper on Friday said SkyCity was
mulling a venture in Manila and that it could act this year. It
did not provide further details.
SkyCity operates casinos in New Zealand and Australia, and
in December said it would spend more than A$300 million ($312.92
million) to upgrade its casino in Adelaide, Australia.
At home, it has proposed building a convention centre in
Auckland for around NZ$350 million, but in return wants the
government to extend the life of its operating licence, increase
the permitted number of gambling machines and change some of the
The company is scheduled to announce its financial results
for the first half of the year on Feb. 13.
It shares closed at NZ$3.97 on Thursday, near a nine-month
high of NZ$4.030 hit last week.
($1 = 1.1900 New Zealand dollars)
($1 = 0.9587 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Dan Grebler)