Diamond Lounge at Sky City Comes Under Fire

Healthcare groups and The Problem Gambling Foundation have made their case against the Diamond Lounge in Sky City Auckland. The high roller gambling venue contains an ‘open air’ smoking area, which anti-smoking groups believe violates health codes.

The Diamond Lounge is a high-stakes, high-roller gaming area at Sky City Auckland. Patrons can only gain access to it by earning hundreds of loyalty points and proving that their gambling behaviour is not detrimental. It contains several table games and pokies, in addition to a smoking lounge that is considered by many to still be indoors.

According to the Smoke Free Environment Act, smoking areas must be completely outside. Due to the layout of the Diamond Lounge, several healthcare groups believe that the area is in violation of the act.

The Salvation Army, Cancer Society and anti-smoking organization ASH have joined forces to file a complaint about the room. Even The Problem Gambling Foundation has gotten on board with the cause.

Despite all of the opposition, however, the Diamond Lounge will remain in its current state. According to Sky City, Auckland Regional Public Health has deemed that the smoking area is not in violation of any laws.

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.

New Sky City Pokies to Pay Off Convention Centre

While $350 million is a lot of money for one company to spend on the construction of a new convention centre, Sky City does not seem very worried at all. While it seemed liked the casino operator was getting the short end of the deal by offering to build the new centre, Sky City will actually benefit the most from the deal.

Goldman Sachs has recently conducted a report outlining the exact cost of the new poker machines in Sky City Auckland. According to the company’s calculations, the machines will bring in at least $143 000 each year, providing an overall profit of $350 million by 2017. It will only take Sky City 5 years to pay off the cost of the new convention centre, so the deal certainly works out in the casino’s favour.

Unfortunately, the general public is not as pleased about the news. Most citizens are worried that the deal will make Auckland look as though it is obsessed with money, rather than caring about the well-being of its citizens. However, city councillors do not seem overly concerned with this image perception and are very dedicated to the deal with Sky City.

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.

Prime Minister Prefers Casinos Over Pubs

Prime Minister John Key has stated that casinos are a safer alternative to pubs which host poker machines. This seems to be his case for justifying the recent agreement he’s made with Sky City, offering the casino group more pokies in return for the construction of Auckland’s new convention and conference centre.

The deal will give Sky City the construction contract for the new convention centre, which is estimated at costing around $350 million. In return for this favour, the Prime Minister has allowed Sky City to install new poker machines in its local casinos. Key has yet to announce how many new poker machines will be permitted, but residents are already upset over the plan.

Across New Zealand, several groups have worked hard to impose a sinking lid policy on poker machines, decreasing the number of pokies across the country. Key’s new deal offsets and contradicts the policy, upsetting several politicians and responsible gambling groups.

However, John Key defends his actions by stating that it is more beneficial to install new pokies in casinos rather than pubs or gaming clubs, offering a safer environment for players. He states that the overall number of pokies will decrease while casinos in particular are able to install new machines – but very few residents are convinced.

Greens Do Not Support Sky City Conference Centre

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Sky City has made a remarkable financial performance of the course of 2011. The company saw profits jumped by 17%, so the Green Party wonders why the company needs to expand its gambling operations.

Over the course of the past year, Sky City has been negotiating with local councillors for the contract to build a new conference centre in Auckland. The casino operator would cover the entire cost of construction – and all it asks for in return is for the government to bend some gambling laws for it.

Sky City wants to be able to exceed the local cap for pokies and gaming tables, and hopes that its deal with the local government will allow it to do so. While it seems like an airtight deal, the Greens have poked some holes in it.

After seeing Sky City’s financial results for the year, the Green Party has publically asked “Why?”. The political party does not see any reason for the government to allow the casino operator to install more poker machines, especially since Sky City is already thriving.

They wonder if the casino really needs that much more revenue. If so, The Greens propose expanding the casino in other ways that do not exceed the pokies cap.

Sky City Sees Huge Revenue Jump

Sky City Entertainment, one of the biggest gambling operators in the country, has seen a significant rise in profits over the course of the last year. The company attributes this growth to the earnings generated by the Sky City Casino in Auckland.

Over the course of 2011, profits for Sky City rose by over $10 million to $78 for the year. The company believes that the changes made to Sky City Auckland are to thank for this impressive profit increase over the course of the past year.

$50 million was spent on renovating the gambling facilities available the casino, but the company still managed to offset the costs with improved profits. In addition to building a new VIP lounge, Sky City also renovated other areas of the casino to make them more attractive to players.

Slots brought in the amount of increased revenue, seeing a rise by 17%. Non-gaming elements also helped to boost profits. Auckland’s recently-revamped hotels and restaurants garnered a great deal of attention from patrons.

It seems that the adage “you have to spend money to make money” is true for Sky City. The company always seems to have very positive results after renovating its various casinos.

SkyCity Casinos Host Huge Holiday Events

New Zealand’s SkyCity casino brand is a top provider of gambling solutions for local residents and tourists. In addition to providing a wide range of casino games, the range of SkyCity casinos in the country offers visitors some great events to take part in. December seems to the be the best time of year to visit these gambling destinations, as their event calendars are full of incredible affairs.

At SkyCity Auckland, visitors can catch a glimpse of Santa every weekend over the course of the month of December. The event will take place the first two weekends of the month and then every day for the final two weeks leading up to Christmas. Children can visit Santa and post their wish lists to Jolly Old Saint Nick from the highest mailbox in the city. The event costs just $5 for adults and is free for all children accompanying them.

SkyCity Queenstown offers up an incredible New Year’s Eve event for visitors. At the casino, all attendees are treated to a 3-course meal and free live entertainment by LA Social Club for the night. Tickets are just $65, and patrons are guaranteed a fantastic time as they ring in the new year!