NZ Government Requires Feedback for Gambling Law

Politicians in Auckland have recently decided to allow Sky City to build a new convention centre in the city in return for relaxing the country’s online gambling laws. While the deal was decided behind closed doors, former Gambling Commissioner Peter Chin believes that the public needs to weigh in.

As the deal was being decided, the public was left out of the process. Sky City and Prime Minister and John Key negotiated in private, and New Zealanders were unaware of the details of the deal until they were finalized.

Now, former Peter Chin, the former Gambling Commissioner, has stated that this should not have been the case. As gambling laws are being changed, the public and other politicians should have been able to weigh in on the issue.

During a recent television broadcast, Chin stated that before any gambling laws are changed, public opinion would be required. A consultation will have to take place, so that the changes to the gambling laws are well-advised.

“They have to facilitate community involvement in decisions about the provision of gambling,” says Chin.

Experts Combat Sky City’s Lottery Claims

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.

Cashless Gambling at Sky City

Sky City is asking for yet another perk as part of its deal with the city of Auckland to build a convention centre. While casino operator is already getting an additional 500 poker machines that will generate $75 million each year, Sky City is now asking for cashless gambling technology.

Currently, at Sky City Auckland, players must use real cash to play electronic casino games. What they want is a new ticket system, which would allow players to use barcode tickets to collect their winnings. The same tickets can also be used to play pokies. Other casinos across the country have employed this technology already, and Sky City claims that it wants to follow suit in order to combat money laundering.

However, city councilors do not believe that the ticket system has the safety of customers at heart. While it is a step towards preventing money laundering, it also disassociates players from the reality of gambling. By using tickets, they are not seeing exactly how much money they are spending on poker machines and other electronic games, so it is easier to spend more than they had budgeted for.

This is one of the first requests that the local government has turned down as part of the deal with Sky City. It will be interesting to see what the casino operator asks for next.

Sky City Convention Centre Deal Kept Under Wraps

Auckland residents are growing increasingly more worried, as casino executives and city councilors discuss the plans for the construction of a convention centre behind closed doors. The deal, which would relax gambling laws for Sky City in return for the construction of the convention, is being discussed in private, and residents are not pleased that they have been kept in the dark.

All that is currently known is that Sky City wants to build the new $350 million convention centre. In return for this, the casino operator wants to local government to relax its gambling laws. At first, it was assumed that this meant allowing for more pokies in the local Sky City casino, but as negotiations drag on, it could mean more.

“It’s a secret negotiation,” says David Cunliffe of the Labour Party. “This is not a transparent process with a number of parties.

With problem gambling presenting an ever-greater problem in New Zealand, it is important that politicians work on ways to reduce the opportunities available to gamblers. However, the deal will result in an increase in gambling activity – an issue that residents in Auckland and across New Zealand should be able to have a say in.