Community group concerned over impact of Convention deal
5 November 2013
Community group voices concern over impact of Convention Centre deal
The Otara Gambling and Alcohol Action Group (OGAAG) are deeply concerned about the impact the SkyCity International Convention Centre deal will have on families in communities.
The OGAAG Subcommittee says members are strongly opposed to the Government’s plan to do a deal with SkyCity to build an International Convention Centre in return for increasing opportunities to gamble.
“Our communities need to have a voice and we want to express our concern about the impact this deal will have,” they say.
“We are working hard to keep the number of pokie machines down in our community and now we will see hundreds more at SkyCity Casino.”
“Pokie machines are addictive where ever they are located. Casinos are open for business 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. There, people are often treated as VIPs with enticements to return.”
“Gambling has a big impact on our families and communities. We know more and more children are being left unattended within homes and vehicles whilst parents or caregivers pursue gambling.”
“There is more poverty, crime and domestic violence as a result of less money being spent within homes.”
Research states that one in six New Zealanders say that a family member has gone without basic necessities such as paying bills which can lead to increased debt due to gambling.
The OGAAG subcommittee says that so often it is the children that suffer as a result of gambling.
“Communities can’t afford to sit back and do nothing. We don’t want to see a Convention Centre that is funded from on-going gambling. Not only does it affect our families and our communities but it will also affect our children’s children by leaving a legacy of generational addiction throughout Aoteroa.”