The COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions around the world, but New Zealand has been one of the lucky countries. Until recently, the country has been in control of the pandemic and many activities were able to return like normal, including SkyCity Auckland reopening. Opened in 1996, the casino is the second in the country and the only one that operates in Auckland, so its recent closure is a really big deal. Let’s take a look at the closure and why online casinos are set to benefit substantially. The Closure Thanks to strict lockdowns and effective social distancing, New Zealand had over 100 days free of new COVID-19 cases, however, that all changed after an Auckland outbreak. The country is now back to a strict lockdown that has shuttered thousands of businesses, including StarCity Auckland. The casino has totally closed for business besides offering food pickup from the Fed Deli, so all casino games are not in use. How Long Will The Closure Last? Due to the NZ government rules, there is no wiggle room for the casino to open anytime soon. All non-essential travel has been outlawed in the country with many checkpoints set up to question why people are driving. People in Auckland are not allowed to leave unless it is an emergency, so there has been a massive reduction in new people coming into the city and residents leaving. For now, there is no definite timeframe on how long the casino will stay closed. New cases have no eclipsed 100 with all but two being linked to the Auckland outbreak, so it’s safe to assume that the casino will be closed for the immediate future. Industry Reaction Auckland has the largest population for any city in New Zealand, so the physical casino industry is taking a big profit hit with this current closure. There is no doubt that there will be a reduction in the number of people playing in SkyCity Auckland, so the industry overall is not as healthy as what it was last year. It is not known if there will be longterm economic effects, the SkyCity company cut 900 jobs earlier this year due to the short term economic impacts of COVID-19. Online Casino Alternatives Since Auckland residents are no longer able to attend the only physical casino the use of top NZ online casinos has increased. Players are flocking to casinos such as All Slots for many reasons. Online casinos are safer to attend due to not having to physically be at a casino, they offer great bonuses to encourage you to join, and they are open 24/7, so no matter your schedule, you can play games like Blackjack, Pokies and many more. With technological advancements, it is also now possible to play live dealer casino games from the comfort of your own home, which makes online casinos are realistic as they’ve ever been. If you haven’t been able to head to your local casino due to the COVID-19 crisis now is the perfect time to give online casinos a try. For all industry and game news visit us at Casino Billions to make sure you stay in the know.