Queenstown’s new convention centre will boost the city’s economy, and local politicians have considered the idea of building a casino on site. The gambling venue would simply be a location of the existing SkyCity Queenstown casino, but residents are still opposed to the plan.
Relocating SkyCity Queenstown was proposed as a potential way to help subsidize the cost. 748 public submissions were made, and more 40% of them opposed the plan. According to the Otago Daily Times, 33% of submissions ‘strongly opposed’ the casino while 10% ‘opposed’ it.
“If there was no risk to the community of greater cost, timeliness of the development process or completion deadline we would support some combined development,” says Graham Budd of Destination Queenstown, the state’s tourism organisation.
Destination Queenstown echoes the sentiments of most residents by supporting a standalone convention centre. Representatives of the organization believe that the venue can be profitable and successful on its own, and that the construction of a casino will hinder the progress and increase the cost of the convention centre.