Delay for SkyCity Convention Centre Report

Ever since Prime Minister John Key announced that he would allow SkyCity to install 500 new poker machines in return for building Auckland’s new convention centre, his planned has been criticized. Residents and politicians have taken up arms against the initiative, with The Greens requesting that an audit be performed before any decisions can be finalized – unfortunately, the process has not been simple thus far.

Firstly, the audit has taken twice as long than the average Auditor General investigation. The Office of the Auditor General has stated that most cases take up to 3 months to investigate; this case has taken twice as long, as the process has been more complex.

Now, the release of the report has been delayed by weeks. Originally, the audit was to be published before Christmas, giving residents a chance to give the investigation the attention it deserves. Now, the Auditor General has announced that the report will not be released until the new year – but The Greens are okay with it.

Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei believes that it is better for the report to take longer than anticipated than for the Office of the Auditor General to rush the publication. She hopes that the audit will shed some much-needed light on the nature of the SkyCity convention centre deal, providing answers to some of the many unanswered questions that members of the general public have posed.

SkyCity Sells Share in Christchurch Casino, Invests In Queenstown

Ever since the 2010 earthquake devastated Christchurch, the city has been struggling to return to its former glory. Entertainment venues across the city have shut down, and Christchurch’s casino has failed to generate a solid profit in years. So, it is no wonder that part-owner SkyCity is frustrated with its investment. As such, the casino operator has decided to sell its 50% stake in Christchurch Casino to Skyline for $80 million, accepting Skyline’s stake in SkyCity Queenstown for $5 million.

SkyCity has decided to take this route in order to shift its focus. Rather continuing to struggle to make Christchurch Casino successful yet again, SkyCity would rather focus its efforts on its Queenstown casino location, which is already thriving.

The company still plans on making some significant changes to Queenstown, however. This year, SkyCity has demonstrated its dedication to high-roller gambling in several of its casinos across New Zealand. Now, the company wants to extend that commitment to Queenstown, equipping the property with several new facilities that would welcome players with a thirst for high-stakes gambling action.

At SkyCity Queenstown, company executives are planning to build new restaurants and bars to make the property into a well-rounded entertainment venue. SkyCity would also like to introduce new VIP gaming parlours, at which VIPs would be able to wager upwards of $150 000 per bet.

Draft of SkyCity Convention Centre Inquiry Released

Ever since Prime Minister John Key announced his plans to allow SkyCity to build Auckland’s new convention centre in return for 500 new poker machines, the public has expressed concern. Many residents are worried that the local government is in the pocket of the casino operator while others believe that the deal would result in an increase in problem gambling. To address these questions and concerns, The Greens requested an inquiry into the issue. It has recently been released, with drafts being sent to relevant parties.

The Auditor General has spent the past six months drafting the inquiry. Normally, inquiries take up to 3 months; however, for complex cases, more time is required. As such, this inquiry is likely to contain a lot of information that the general public will need to know.

In addition to determining the feasibility of allowing SkyCity to build the new convention centre, the inquiry will also examine the potential for problem gambling rates to rise. It will also publish the potential benefits and drawbacks of the new convention centre deal, providing a well-rounded look at the situation.

“We consult as necessary on its contents to ensure that it is factually accurate and that the rights of any affected parties are properly protected,” says a spokesperson for the Office of the Auditor General.

Prime Minister John Key and SkyCity have received copies of the draft. However, Key states that he has not provided any feedback and nor has he spoken to SkyCity about it. Greens Leader Metiria Turei states that Key should take his time with this part of the inquiry process, as she is concerned that any announcements made on the subject during the holiday season will go unnoticed in the general public.

However, regardless of when the document is release, we are certain that residents will weigh in on the topic. This is an important issue for New Zealand citizens and they will certainly voice their opinions.

NZ Politician Accused of Gambling-Related Theft

MP Brendan Horan, formerly of the NZ First Party, has been accused of stealing money from his late mother in order to fund his problem gambling habit. The accusations have cost him his place in the political party and his reputation in New Zealand’s political world.

The crime was reported last week by Mana Ormsby, brother of Brendan Horan. He claims that their mother accused him of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from her bank account in order to gamble, and that she wanted the money returned to her estate. Horan has denied the claims, but this has not prevented his name from being tarnished.

Winston Peters, head of the NZ First Party, expelled Horan shortly after hearing the news. Although Horan has pleaded his innocence, Peters stated that he has sufficient evidence to prove that he has scandalized NZ First.

Phone records show that Horan made 144 calls to TAB over the course of a ten month period while a number of ‘questionable’ cheques have been presented as evidence. Still, Horan maintains that he is innocent, and he has gained the support of the Maori Party. Prime Minister John Key has also stated that there is not enough evidence to prove Horan’s guilt at the moment. An official investigation is on-going.