Green Party cardboard casino a shock reminder
14 October 2013
Green Party cardboard casino a shock reminder of the extent of the SkyCity deal
The Green Party’s cardboard casino in Auckland’s Aotea Square reveals how the Government’s pokies-for-convention centre deal is the equivalent of erecting an entire new casino in Auckland, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.
Aotea Square is this morning filled with cardboard versions of the 230 pokie machines, 240 automated player stations and 40 additional gambling tables gifted to SkyCity in their deal with the Government.
“The display makes a mockery of John Key’s argument that the concessions to SkyCity don’t matter because community pokie numbers are reducing anyway,” Ms Turei said.
“That’s as silly as saying they’re going to give away a whole lot of free cigarettes to one community because the number of smokers is reducing in others.
“The 510 additional gambling machines and tables gifted to SkyCity would be, on their own, the third largest casino in New Zealand. That’s a casino which wouldn’t exist without this deal.
“The Gambling Act outlaws casino growth in order to protect New Zealanders from problem gambling. But the pokies for convention centre deal gives SkyCity a special waiver allowing it to grow, despite officials warning that about 6500 kids will be harmed by the additional problem gambling generated by the deal.
“The truth is Government ministers ploughed ahead with this deal knowing that children and families would be collateral damage.
“I genuinely believe that the vast majority of Aucklanders agree that a convention centre paid for by misery is totally unacceptable.
“We are urging Aucklanders to come down to Aotea Square and write a message to the Government on the gaming machines. We will then take the cardboard casino to Wellington to present to the Government,” Mrs Turei said.
The cardboard casino display will be on till 6pm tonight.
Metiria Turei will be available at the display from 12pm till 1pm today.