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Skycity Strengthens Its Host Responsibility Team

14 August 2006

Skycity Strengthens Its Host Responsibility Team

SKYCITY has appointed three further senior public health and addiction treatment specialists to its responsible service of alcohol and gambling harm minimisation team.

Shannon Hanrahan has been appointed SKYCITY's Host Responsibility Manager - Group. Shannon was previously employed by the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC) as Host Responsibility Programme Manager and Project Manager, Liquor Licensing. He will oversee the strategic development and implementation of SKYCITY's group-wide host responsibility programme. This includes staff training, identification and management of problem gambling, and responsible service of alcohol.

Clinical addiction specialist Linda Poynton has been appointed Host Responsibility Manager - Auckland. Ms Poynton was most recently Clinical Manager for Higher Ground Rehabilitation Trust in Parnell. The Higher Ground Drug Rehabilitation Trust is a 30-bed accredited residential facility for the treatment of drugs and alcohol addiction. In her new role, she will manage and implement host responsibility at SKYCITY Auckland.

Ann McMurray was formerly the Regional Manager - Wellington/Auckland for the Problem Gambling Foundation, and also National Manager for the Community Justice Project. She has joined SKYCITY and brings to the team specialist gambling counselling and addiction treatment experience. Her role is to work closely with customers, staff, third parties and treatment providers to help SKYCITY improve its strategies for the identification of actual and potential problem gamblers.

Debbie Edwards joined SKYCITY late last year from the Ministry of Health where she was Project Leader for Problem Gambling. Her appointment as Manager - Harm Minimisation is helping SKYCITY develop leading policies and frameworks for harm minimisation. Ms Edwards works with health care providers (including problem gambling services), government agencies and researchers, alongside the SKYCITY Host Responsibility team.

"SKYCITY has always acknowledged that gambling and alcohol can cause harm to a small percentage of the population. We put a great deal of time and resource into ensuring our customers have safe and positive gaming experiences," says Peter Treacy, Group General Manager - Regulation and Legal.

"Host responsibility is a challenging and evolving area, particularly in the area of problem gambling. By hiring top executives from the treatment providers and the health sector, we believe we can take our existing host responsibility programme to even higher levels. Our aim is to be world-leading in the field of host responsibility and these people are an investment in that ambition."

SKYCITY's host responsibility programme has been developed in conjunction with the Department of Internal Affairs and independent treatment providers, including the Salvation Army, Abacus Counselling, and Gambling Helpline. It is highly regulated and independently assessed by the Gambling Commission.

"We regard host responsibility as critical to the long term sustainability of our business. It is the right thing to do, in addition to being a legal requirement, " Peter Treacy says.

"We welcome the expertise bought by the new additions to the team. Their experience in the alcohol, drug and gambling dependency sectors will be a huge asset and we look forward to their contribution towards SKYCITY remaining a safe and fun place to be."


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