The new deal that will see casino operator Sky City build Auckland’s new convention centre has not gone over well with the general public. Two academics are so incensed that they have published a report on the issue, calling the deal a mockery of the New Zealand Gambling Act.
Dr Peter Adams and Dr Fiona Rossen, directors of the Centre for Gambling Studies at the University of Auckland, have published a report in an international academic journal about their views on the issue. In it, they highlight the fact that the Gambling Act was aimed at identifying problem gambling as a health issue and reducing the potential harm that they could cause.
So, providing Sky City with 500 new poker machines not only exceeds the city’s cap on pokies; it also violates the Gambling Act. According to the report, the deal does not consider the social harm that it would cause as well as disregards the public health aspects of the Gambling Act.
However, the new Harm Reduction Bill could get in the way to the deal. If city councillors decide to intervene, then Sky City may not be able to receive 500 new poker machines, which will be seen as a positive by anti-gambling advocates in the country.