SkyCity Casino Quickly Reopens Following Auckland Convention Centre Fire, Causing Concern


SkyCity casino employees have allegedly felt unsafe to return to work following last week’s fire that decimated the neighboring New Zealand International Convention Centre in the city of Auckland. The fire resulted in massive damages to the convention center and caused additional damage to some of the surrounding infrastructures, including the SkyCity casino and hotel. 

However, despite the remaining smoke and toxic fumes that hung around in the air for days following the fire, many SkyCity employees were expected to return to work almost immediately. By Friday morning the blaze was under control and smoke had mostly dissipated but investigators were still assessing the toxicity of water run-off from the convention center.


Employees feeling dizzy

Local newspaper the NZ Herald reported that some workers felt dizzy and others had “passed out” after being requested to return to work on Thursday. The fire, which began around lunchtime on Tuesday, was reportedly caused by a worker who left a burning blowjob unattended whilst going on a smoke break. The fire continued to burn throughout the night, filling the neighborhood with smoke and bringing traffic to a halt. 

Tina Barnett, a casino supervisor, claimed that SkyCity management wasn’t putting employee safety first. “Our safety should be the number one priority and I don’t feel convinced it is,” she said.

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However, health officials gave the all-clear, claiming it was safe for workers to return to the site. Despite this, the SkyCity corporate team chose to stay off work until the following Tuesday even though floor staff was expected to return. Long-term effects of the toxicity in the water and air were noted as particular concerns by Union members, some of whom complained of a burning sensation in their throats. As a result, approximately a thousand SkyCity employees walked off the job in protest of what they felt were unsafe conditions. 

Players and gambling enthusiasts who frequent the casino were likely affected by the staff shortages, although nowadays there are many online avenues for gambling like those found at New advances in internet-related technology have made gambling online safer and more accessible than ever before, with many new online platforms offering even bigger winnings than brick-and-mortar casinos.


SkyCity Opens New Online Gambling Platform

SkyCity recently launched an online casino platform of its own, licensed and operated from the Mediterranean island nation of Malta. The platform, launched in partnership with Swedish outfit the Gaming Innovation Group, has caused some concern for New Zealand’s gambling regulators due to it being made available to kiwis. Existing New Zealand laws only allow the state-run lotto and TAB system to operate online gambling activities but the regulator doesn’t technically have the ability to restrict foreign-operated platforms.

As a result, local regulators have begun to re-assess laws and consider bringing in stricter measures. One of these includes banning the use of credit cards for online gambling activities by New Zealand citizens. The online and mobile nature of the new SkyCity casino platform has also raised concerns, with Problem Gambling Services spokeswoman Andree Froude saying it “puts vulnerable people at risk”.

“It’s available 24/7, you can literally carry it around in your pocket and it can be easily hidden. There are risks associated with that,” she stated, speaking to However, SkyCity chief executive Graeme Stephens claims the online platform will not initially be monetized, saying it should be seen as more of a “strategic entry” into a new sector that the company believes has “long-term relevance.”

SkyCity Entertainment Group is one of the largest casino operators in the Oceania region, with several outlets across New Zealand and Australia.