Taxpayer Money to be Used for Sky City Convention Centre

Earlier this year, local residents announced their displeasure at the fact that Sky City and Prime Minister John Key were keeping very quiet about their plans to construct a new convention centre in Auckland. Now, it seems like it’s no wonder why, as it seems that Key wanted to cover up the fact that he has misled the public about an important aspect about the new venue.

John Key gained support for the convention centre by assuring residents that their tax dollars would not be used in the construction process. That is only partially true, however, as taxpayer dollars are being used in the design process – $2.1 million worth, to be precise.

Behind closed doors, the government has created a slush fund using taxpayer dollars. The slush fund was built using money gathered from cuts to job creation and economic development programs, as well as support for disaster-ridden Christchurch.

The new convention centre has already met with a great deal of controversy, as citizens are not pleased that Sky City will receive 500 new poker machines in return for the construction of the venue. Now, with this new development, we’re sure even more resistance will be expressed.

Last Week for Queen of Diamonds Promo At InterCasino

InterCasino is well-known around the online gambling for its generous promotions and bonuses. This month, the casino launched its Queen of Diamonds promotion which saw players racing around the world for cash prizes. Each week, the casino operator set up a new ‘leg’ of the race, corresponding with a different journey around the world. This week, players will set a course from Jamaica to the UK for their final chance to win big.

The prizes for this week’s promotion are quite generous. The first place winner gets a diamond of their choice worth $500 while second and third place win $300 and $150 respectively. All players who qualify in each leg of the race are entered into a draw for a $5000 cruise for vacation for two.

To enter into the promotion, simply enter the bonus code ‘QD4’ when you deposit $25 or more. Then, you accumulate ‘carats’ by playing one of the follow games: Dolphin King, Golden Jaguar and Quest of Kings. The players with the most carats win the top prizes for the week.

There is only one week left for the Queen of Diamonds promotion and Intercasino; so, be sure to check it out today.

Casino Worker Wins Case Against Sky City

Tuni Parata has won the right to carry her Bible with her while working at a local SkyCity Casino. Earlier, she feared that her job might be at stake, as she was reprimanded by the casino’s managers after it was discovered that she was carrying a Bible around with her while working.

According to SkyCity, it is against the company’s rules for any employee to carry any sort of personal belongings while they are on the casino floor. It is considered to be a violation of the company’s uniform rules. As such, the company does not believe that the religious backlash was necessary, as it was not punishing Parata for her beliefs but rather her transgressions of the rules.

Parata met with SkyCity managers and professionals this week to explain her situation. She stated that employees were being restricted from making the most of their breaks if they’re not allowed to carry personal items on them. With many lockers being 15 minutes away from the casino floor, workers should be able to carry at least some approved items with them.

The casino agreed that Parata would be able to carry her Bible with her while she worked. The only stipulation is that she cannot take the book out while she is carrying out her duties on the casino floor.

Sky City Community Trust Accepting Funding Applications

The Sky City Queenstown Community Trust is encouraging local charities to apply for funding. The trust provides local community organizations with upwards of $100 000 per year, paying for their operating costs, tools and services.

This year marks the trust’s 10-year anniversary. Over the course of the past ten years, the trust has paid out almost $1 million to more than 300 local charities and community groups. Last year alone, the trust awarded 39 different charities with $95 000 in funding. One of the groups that received funding was Queenstown Primary School, which received money needed to purchase computer technology for students.

“We’re extremely proud we’ve been able to help nearly 300 community groups through the donation of almost one million dollars since 2002”, says Michelle Baillie, General Manager of Sky City Queenstown.

With the proposed Harm Reduction Bill, the Queenstown Community Trust may even provide even more funding to local groups. The bill aims to double the amount of profits that poker machines donate to charity. As such, the Queenstown Community Trust may reach its next million-dollar milestone as soon as 2017.

Pokies Parents Plead Guilty

In February, five children were found trapped in a van in a Sky City parking lot. It was discovered that their parents had abandoned them in the vehicle while they gambled. Now, the parents have pleaded guilty to the crime and now face having their children taken way and possibly going to jail.

This week, the couple appeared before court, where they pleaded guilty to child neglect. All of the children in the van were under the age of 14, the legal age at which children can be left alone without supervision. It was also a health hazard as locking children in a car is very dangerous.

The story made headlines back in February, as it highlighted the issue of problem gambling in New Zealand. It brought to light several other cases of child neglect that have taken place as a result of gambling addiction, causing politicians to think about new ways to curb problem gambling rates in the city. John Key, however, stated that child abandonment can take place anywhere; a supermarket parking lot, for example.

The couple have been released on bail, and they will appear in court again in September for sentencing.

Party Casino offers Football Fever Promotion

When it comes to online casinos, Party Casino is one of the most inventive when it comes to thinking up bonuses and promotions. To celebrate this year’s exciting Euro Cup football tournament, the casino operator has launched a Football Fever promotion, which aims to provide players with generous cash prizes for the entire length of the tournament.

Until July 2, players can earn extra comp points by opting in to the promotion. As they climb the promotion’s levels, they earn even more comp points. At the end of the promotional period, players can earn up to $500 based on their comp points. High rollers can earn even more with $2500 being their top prize.

Players also have the chance to search for hidden bonuses while games Euro Cup games are taking place. By playing different games, players can ‘search’ for prizes. Once found, they are automatically credited to your account so you can continue seeking out generous awards.

This promotion is highly recommended by Party Casino players. It does not require players to meet specific criteria or fulfil any additional requirements, so it is perfect opportunity for players to earn bonus cash and promotional prizes.

SkyCity Negotiations Still Ongoing

Sky City and the City of Auckland are still working out the details of their deal, which would see the casino operator build the city’s new convention centre in return for a number of new poker machines. A year after the deal was announced, the two parties are still working out the kinks, but both sides say that there is no reason to worry.

Onlookers have expressed concerns that a year passing in the negotiations process could mean negative things for the deal. Normally, it takes a few months to finalize the details of any gambling or development-related plans, but this is taking much longer than anyone had anticipated.

However, Economic Minister Steven Joyce has assured the public that there is nothing to worry about. He states that deals of this vastness take longer than most to work out:

“We’re asking a company to invest around $350 million, so it’s a pretty serious discussion”, Joyce says.

There is also some speculation that the new Harm Reduction Bill has created some obstacles. With the possibility that city councils can reduce the number of pokies in a city, it may compromise the key aspect of the deal: trading the construction of the casino for 500 new poker machines.

New BluffCam App Offers Poker Players An Edge

When it comes to playing poker, bluffing is one of the most intricate features of gameplay. However, many players cannot be objective when it comes to gauging how stern their poker face actually is – and you can’t really trust your opponents to give you honest insight on what your tells really are. That’s why WowWee has created BluffCam, a smartphone application that helps you form the perfect poker face.

BluffCam is a first-of-its-kind application that gives players unique insight into their own behaviour at the poker table. It not only measures their heart rate but tracks the tone of their skin to determine how players actually react during certain hands. Players can track their progress on a handy notepad that is included in the application.

Soon, WowWee will release BluffCam – Table Edition, which allows players to investigate the poker faces of their opponents. If the application is a success, it is likely that mobile phones will be banned from poker tables. In most card rooms, they can be used so long as the player is not involved in a hand; however, the introduction of poker strategy related apps may see their use banned completely.

Half Price Sunday on Poker Stars

Whether you’re a grinder or a casual player in the online poker world, you probably know that Sundays are the busiest days on Poker Stars for tournaments. In addition to the Sunday Storm and Sunday Millions, the poker room offers a wide range of unique tournaments that you just can’t compete in any other day of the week. This Sunday is going to be special, however, as all tournaments are half-price!

This is the first half-price Sunday ever, and Poker Stars is pleased to offer players a wide selection of affordable poker comps this week. The comps included in the promotion are:

• Sunday Kickoff – $54.50
• Sunday Warm-Up – $107.50
• Sunday Storm – 5.50
• Sunday Million – $107.50
• Women’s Sunday – $27.50

With the Warm Up and the Million costing just over $100, the field of players is likely to be huge. While the tournaments normally attracted 2000 to 3000 players, Poker Stars is expecting upwards of 6000 players in each. So, the guarantee for these tournaments is likely to climb to unprecedented heights!

Charities Commission’s Gambling Stance Deemed Inappropriate

Currently, the New Zealand government is considering passing a law that would reduce the number of poker machines in certain areas. Many groups are opposed to the idea, and some have even taken action against the legislation – however, one organization has been reprimanded for its actions regarding potential gambling law.

The CEO of the Charities Commission sent out an email to various charities requesting that they adopt an anti-gambling reform stance. Since charities depend on poker machine revenue for funding, they would be the first to lose out if the law were passed. The Charities Commission does not want to see that happen and has attempted to launch a campaign against the proposed legislation. According to the Department of Internal Affairs, however, the email was deemed inappropriate, and the Charities Commission will have to retract the email.

“The Chief Executive and the Minister responsible for the Commission need to step up to the plate and admit that this circulation of material is totally inappropriate”, says Ruth Dyson of the Department of Internal Affairs.

While charities are likely to lose out on funding, the Charities Commission is meant to be an independent entity. It is also wrong for the organization to adopt a pro-gambling stance for its own personal, financial gain.