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Friends of the gambling industry attack Hamilton Mayor

Friends of the gambling industry attack Hamilton Mayor for lobbying for support of Council policy opposing growth in gambling in city.....

3 months ago Hamilton City Council voted to oppose Sky City’s attempt to add 60 more pokies into its Hamilton Casino, and following that also voted to support a true ‘sinking lid’ to gradually reduce the number of pokie machines around the city.

The gambling industry’s mates have started kicking up about Mayor Andrew King because he’s been lobbying in support of those policies - exactly what any Mayor worth his/her salt should be doing; they’ve gone to the media to moan about the fact that he has called on three of the largest submitters in support of Sky City to withdraw their submissions and remain neutral.

Those three: the Gallagher Chiefs Rugby, Northern Districts Cricket, and Hamilton-Waikato Tourism all receive SUBSTANTIAL ratepayer support through Council for their activities, so of course the Mayor and many Hamilton residents were not happy when they saw these outfits offering Sky City their support, directly counter to Council’s policy.

The Chiefs and ND Cricket BOTH have very expensive stadiums funded mostly by ratepayers, and Hamilton Waikato Tourism gets north of $half a million annually as a direct grant from the Council. They had rocks in their heads if they thought it was smart to support Sky City and oppose their own Council’s policy.

I am very glad the Mayor did his job and pointed out to these outfits that they were acting in opposition to Council (for a pittance they get from Sky City) - if he hadn’t done his job here, I for one would be asking him why not!

As one vote on Council, I’ll be stuffed if I support giving more money and resources to organisations that support the biggest net exporter of profits from this region and country, and one of the biggest contributors in this city to gambling addiction and the resulting family and community problems!



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