New Harm Minimisation Suggestions from The Greens

As Sky City and Prime Minister John Key continue to finalize the terms of their convention centre deal, responsible gambling advocates are becoming increasingly concerned about its effect on problem gambling rates. To help prevent a rise in problem gambling spending, The Greens have proposed some harm minimisation measures for SkyCity.

“The Green Party intends to implement sensible and pragmatic measures that reassert the role of public health as the primary driver of gambling regulation, rather than economic development and convention centres,” says Greens Co-Leader Metiria Turei.

One of the proposed measures is the introduction of pre-commitment cards. Since there will be 230 new pokies at the casino, The Greens believe that pre-commitment cards would help poker machine players limit their spending. Players can set limits before they begin playing, and they will receive regular updates on their spending before being locked out once they have exceeded their budgets.

The Greens are confident that this measure would be effective but Mr Key is not convinced. He has spoken out against pre-commitment cards, starting that the measure would discourage players from visiting the casino altogether. There will certainly be a fierce debate on the issue, as we are certain that The Greens will not give up easily.

Greens To Stage Protest of SkyCity Deal

It is no secret that The Greens are opposed to the SkyCity convention centre deal. For months, the political party has argued that the deal is not only harmful to the local community but also that it was carried out in an unethical manner. This week, they will stage a protest of the deal by building a cardboard casino in Aotea Square.

From 7am to 6pm on Monday, October 14th, a life-sized casino made of cardboard will be located in the square. It will consist of 510 pokies, the total number of games that will exist in SkyCity Auckland if the convention centre deal is passed. The Greens encourage residents to visit the casino and write a message on the cardboard voicing their concerns to the government.

The idea of the protest is to show residents the scale of the SkyCity’s potential expansion. The gambling operator will be receiving an additional 230 pokies, and The Greens argue that this is the size of the average casino.

“SkyCity gets a whole new casino without having to go through any of the regulatory process required in law to set up a new casino,” says Greens co-leader Metiria Turei. “We want to show New Zealanders the scale of what the Government has gifted to SkyCity”.

Delay for SkyCity Convention Centre Report

Ever since Prime Minister John Key announced that he would allow SkyCity to install 500 new poker machines in return for building Auckland’s new convention centre, his planned has been criticized. Residents and politicians have taken up arms against the initiative, with The Greens requesting that an audit be performed before any decisions can be finalized – unfortunately, the process has not been simple thus far.

Firstly, the audit has taken twice as long than the average Auditor General investigation. The Office of the Auditor General has stated that most cases take up to 3 months to investigate; this case has taken twice as long, as the process has been more complex.

Now, the release of the report has been delayed by weeks. Originally, the audit was to be published before Christmas, giving residents a chance to give the investigation the attention it deserves. Now, the Auditor General has announced that the report will not be released until the new year – but The Greens are okay with it.

Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei believes that it is better for the report to take longer than anticipated than for the Office of the Auditor General to rush the publication. She hopes that the audit will shed some much-needed light on the nature of the SkyCity convention centre deal, providing answers to some of the many unanswered questions that members of the general public have posed.

Should Casinos Pay Back Profits Derived From Crime?

As reports continue to surface about individuals using stolen money to gamble, politicians have raised a new issue concerning the responsibility of casino operators. They believe that casinos should be financially responsible for the money that is stolen from individuals to gamble, a controversial new perspective.

According to ONE News, Denise Roche of the Greens believe that stolen money should go back to those from whom it was taken. On behalf of her party, she states that casinos are the only ones that do not suffer when it comes to theft:

“The addict is jailed, and loses their job, their family and friends. Their employer can be ruined,” says Roche. “But the casino is better off as a result of the crime”.

The Greens stance has already inspired a great deal of support. Hone Harawira of the Mana Party has already stated that he backs the initiative. He believes that casinos have a moral obligation, and that operators should offer some financial assistance to those who have been affected by gambling theft.