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 Amendment Could Jeopardize Sky City Deal

Last month, Sky City Casinos agreed to spend $350 million building a conference centre in Auckland in return for 350 – 500 new poker machines. However, a new bill has been introduced which could give the public more power decide to reduce the number of pokies in the community – and it could have dire consequences for Sky City.

The new bill will receive its first reading today. It would allow local authorities to use community feedback to determine the impact of poker machines in various areas of the country. From there, they can decide if they need to reduce the number of pokies in specific neighbourhoods.

According to Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell, the passing of the new bill could have a negative effect on the Sky City Deal. Even though city councillors have granted the operator the right to add up to 500 new pokies to Sky City Auckland, the public may now be able intervene. It could mean that casino would not be able to add the new poker machines after all.

However, this is just the first reading, so nothing is set in stone. If the bill does not pass, the Sky City deal is likely to carry on as planned

SkyCity Conference Centre Deal on Track

Stephen Joyce, New Zealand’s Economic Development Minister, has recently decided to revisit his plan to enlist in the help of Sky City Casinos to build a conference centre Auckland. He hopes that the country’s newly relaxed attitude towards gambling regulations will make way for the construction of the new venue.

Four companies submitted proposals offering to build the new venue. SkyCity won the bid, as it offered the government a very attractive deal. The company offered to cover the entire cost of the centre’s construction in return for relaxed gambling laws. As such, the casino operator hopes that the government will allow for more gaming machines in its gambling venues across the city.

Initially, the deal was put on hold, as the government was not sure about relaxing its gaming laws for such a purpose. However, Stephen Joyce has decided that it would be best to reconsider the plan. The new conference centre would create a new reason for international tourists to visit New Zealand, making its construction essential to developing the country’s tourism industry.

This could be a mutually-beneficial deal for both sides. It will be interesting to see how the agreement will turn out this time around.