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SkyCity’s commitment to preventing harm non-existent

9 July 2014

SkyCity’s commitment to preventing harm non-existent

National has done a deal with a company that continues to flout New Zealand’s gambling regulations, Green Party gambling spokesperson Denise Roche said today.

In a media sting earlier this year, an elderly man was allowed to play pokie machines continuously for hours with absolutely no intervention by SkyCity staff. Following a Green Party complaint, the Gambling Commission found that SkyCity was negligent in its Host Responsibility obligations.

“SkyCity’s woeful commitment to preventing gambling harm has once again been exposed,” Ms Roche said.

“National’s faustian pact with SkyCity, in which SkyCity builds an international convention centre in exchange for certain gambling concessions, will see an increase in social harm from problem gambling.

“National’s deal with SkyCity means that a company that flout’s New Zealand’s gambling regulations has the opportunity to greatly expand its gambling operations.

“The harm minimisation measures SkyCity has currently signed up to are not working.

“Allowing SkyCity an additional 510 gambling machines and tables under this deal will only result in more harm to the patrons of SkyCity and the people of Auckland.

“The Green Party has a plan to tighten up New Zealand’s loose gambling regulations and prevent the harm and misery that pokie machines cause to those addicted to them and their families who suffer,” said Ms Roche.

“We consider that the best way to reduce harm caused by pokies in casinos and clubs throughout New Zealand is to move to a universal pre-commitment system.”

The Green Party will:
• Require mandatory pre-commitment cards for all electronic gambling machines from 2017.
• Stop direct advertising and inducements to problem gamblers and strengthen self-exclusion arrangements.
• Strengthen the oversight of the Gambling Commission.

ENDS

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