Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Hamilton casino approval farce continues

Hamilton casino approval farce continues

Yesterday’s announcement that Sky City is completing its takeover of the New Zealand casino industry by buying up the last 30% of Hamilton’s Riverside casino that wasn’t already in its clutches, “comes as no surprise to local people who campaigned against the casino from the start”, says gambling issues watchdog group, /GamblingWatch.

GamblingWatch co-ordinator Dave Macpherson said “from the time Sky City bought out Christchurch Casino’s interest in the Hamilton venture just before the casino licence hearing in late 1998 it was odds on that in time the supposed ‘locallly-owned boutique casino’ would eventually become a fully-fledged member of Sky City’s McCasino chain.”

Mr Macpherson was himself an organiser of the Hamilton anti-casino campaign in the late 1990’s, and has been a Hamilton City Councillor for the last 7 years.

When Sky City was not part of the initial Perrys/Tainui/Christchurch Casino proposal, it strongly opposed the granting of a licence to the Hamilton venture, whose principals slammed at the time the slack dress and entrance standards of the Auckland casino, claiming Hamilton’s would be more tasteful, upmarket and boutique-style.”

“But it seems that dollops of cash greased the wheels nicely – as they do across the gambling industry – and opposition turned into full-blown support when all the people involved spotted the chance to make quick bucks out of the Hamilton area,” said Mr Macpherson.

“First Christchuch Casino sold out its interest – and is itself now being taken over by Sky City – then Tainui needed some cash quickly, and now Perry’s is cashing in.”

“With a close 3-2 vote, and several court cases only narrowly confirming the license approval, we don’t believe that this casino would ever have got the go-ahead if people had realized that the latest outcome would materialize,” he said.

“Since the glitzy opening of the casino, the public of Hamilton have been treated like mushrooms – kept in the dark, and fed b……t:

- The casino has never delivered the tourism benefits promised
(pretty much only local Waikato people attend – apart from foreign
students blowing their parental allowances, and the odd police
inspector winning cars during working hours);

- The community liason group set up as a license requirement has
never been consulted on any of the casino’s major decisions (its
own members are about to meet the new Gambling Commission to
discuss their concerns about this);

- The pitiful amount of funding handed out to the local community
(remember the casino has 339 pokies and several gambling tables)
is less than a single 18-pokie bar gives out;

- Since establishment, the casino (like others around the country)
has asked for and received increased hours and increased pokie
machines and gambling tables – but not once has the local
community been consulted over these increases.”

“The entire Hamilton casino experience has been farcical for the Hamilton community, and demonstrates why the overwhelming majority of Hamilton residents was right to oppose the casino from the start,” finished Mr Macpherson.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election