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Govt hiding SkyCity deal’s negative economic aspects

11 July 2013

Govt hiding SkyCity deal’s negative economic aspects

The Government has completely failed to alert the public to the negative economic impacts of their dirty deal with SkyCity, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

Economic Minister Steven Joyce today admitted in the House after questioning from the Green Party that he had sought no specific advice around the economic harm likely to result from the increase in gambling resulting from the SkyCity deal.

“MPs today voting on the SkyCity deal need to realise that the Government has not given them the full picture regarding the negative economic aspects of this deal,” Mrs Turei said.

“Along with the increased gambling opportunities in the deal between SkyCity and the Government will come increased social costs that will have a negative economic impact on the Auckland region.

“Research from Australia and New Zealand has shown that businesses will fail due to fraud being committed to pay for problem gambling.”

The KPMG fraud surveys from recent years show that gambling remains a major motivator of fraud, with high individual losses per incident.

“The Government’s KordaMentha report into the economic benefits of the SkyCity deal completely failed to take into account any of the many downsides of this deal,” said Mrs Turei.

“It is disingenuous of the Government to tout this deal as having only positive economic spin-offs when it has failed to give the public, or MPs, the full details of the negative economic effects of problem gambling,” Mrs Turei said.

In 2008 the Australian BDO Kendalls Not-for-profit Fraud Survey found that 53 percent of all the money stolen from charities was stolen to fund gambling activity—some $180,000 per person,

“Those voting for the SkyCity deal are voting to increase the misery that comes from problem gambling as well as increased corruption and fraud that will see businesses fail and jobs lost,” said Mrs Turei.

"This is the time for MPs who have concerns about the dangers of gambling, to make a stand for what is right.”

ENDS

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