When it comes to defending its decision to install 500 new poker machines at Sky City Auckland, the casino operator seems to be grasping at straws. To justify taking advantage of relaxed gambling laws (in return for building a new convention centre in Auckland), Sky City has claimed that the lottery does more harm than adding 500 new poker machines to the city ever would.
Unfortunately for Sky City, Auckland residents cannot be easily fooled. In response to these claims, gaming experts from across the country jumped at the chance to defend the local lottery.
Firstly, they have cited reports that show pokies are the number one choice among problem gamblers. The lottery falls much lower on that list, as it is seen as a more casual form of gambling in New Zealand.
Additionally, the lottery seems to have a better social impact. This is because the lottery donates 10% of its income to government problems while poker machine operators only donated 2.5% of their profits.
As the debate heats up, this has not stopped Sky City from attempting to get even more out of the deal with city councilors. The casino operator has already asked for cashless gambling systems and relaxed gambling advertising laws – but local politicians will not budge.