Fortunes won and lost
Casinos, they say, are where fortunes are won and fortunes lost. The right combination of numbers or sequence of images on a slot machine, the roll of a dice, the correct card can change your life forever. Simple good luck or a complicated formula can be the difference. Whatever method you choose, it’s always an adventure.
New Zealand being the adventure capital of the world, is it any surprise you can also jump off one of our casinos? Situated in the heart of Auckland’s CBD, a forty-five minute drive from the airport, 10 minutes from Britomart – central bus and train stations – SKYCITY Auckland is one of the city’s major urban attractions.
Home to over 1000 table games and 1600 gaming machines, its biggest claim to fame is its 328 metre tower that looms large over the cityscape. Many a tourist and celebrity (Tom Cruise), has SkyJumped off a specially designed platform 192 metres from the ground. If plummeting to the earth at 85kmph, attached only to a wire, is not your thing you can opt to walk around the 1.2m walkway, strapped to an overhead harness.
Opened in 1996, SKYCITY Auckland also offers world class restaurants, live entertainment and poker tournaments and is one of several casinos owned and run by parent company SKYCITY Entertainment Group Ltd. Other SKYCITY casinos can be found in Hamilton, Queenstown, Adelaide, and Darwin.
New Zealand’s first casino was opened in Christchurch’s Victoria St in 1994. In 2004 SKYCITY purchased a 40% percent stake, later bumping that up to 45 percent making Dunedin Casino the only operation it doesn’t have an interest in. Relatively unscathed after the earthquake of 2011, today Christchurch Casino offers 500 slot machines, 34 tables, live bands every week, and hosts the New Zealand Poker Championship.
Built in 1883 Dunedin’s Grand Hotel, designed by prominent – but little known – Italian Architect, Louis Boldini, was in its heyday considered to be one of the Southern Hemisphere’s most impressive. After an extensive refurbishment in 1999 it was turned into Dunedin Casino, a boutique operation that has retained its original opulence and grandeur. It offers 170 electronic gaming machines, several table games, live entertainment, and regular poker games.
Whether you’re a high roller, an amateur after a quick flutter, an adventure junkie, a foodie, or a fan of live entertainment, New Zealand’s casinos have something for everyone.