July 18, 2013
Hard bargain could upset non-gamblers
Labour MP Shane Jones says the Government’s hardnosed approach to getting the Sky City convention centre deal through could sow the seeds for the casino’s destruction.
Background papers now emerging show Treasury, the Department of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment all have serious concerns about the deal, including the increased social costs of increased gambling.
Mr Jones says the papers show the arguments didn’t stack up for giving Sky City an extension on its Auckland casino licence and more pokies in exchange for building a convention centre.
"I’ve said all along that it was a hard commercial deal driven all along by the Sky City people who only ever wanted an extension of their licence and in the world of capitalism they are totally able to do that. What they now need to realise they have probably alienated a significant percentage of our citizenry. They may not have alienated future consumers, but then consumers aren’t citizens," he says.
Mr Jones says if problem gambling continues to grow, public opposition will grow.
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