Sky City and Premier John Key have finally come to a settlement with regards to the terms of their convention centre deal. In return for Sky City spending $402 million to build Auckland’s new convention centre, the casino operator will be granted permission to install nearly 300 new games and will have its license extended.
The deal will go ahead as planned, even though the Auditor General confirmed that the deal was not entirely fair to other bidders. After the Auditor General weighed in, local residents requested that the deal be abandoned – but neither party would be deterred. Now, they have settled on a final plan – and residents are still incensed.
Sky City will spend $315 million on the construction of the centre and $87 million on land costs. In return, the casino will receive 230 new pokies and 40 new table games. The casino’s license will also be extended from 2021 to 2042.
“Sky City has been given preferential treatment from whoa to go and the Government has even bent the immigration visa rules to deliver rich gamblers to the casino,” says Rt Hon Winston Peters. “We can see little good coming from this shabby, seedy, money grubbing deal”.
It is likely that residents will protest the deal. Kiwis are not at all impressed with the terms of the deal, and they will fight to ensure that it does not go forward.