Skycity Does Not Deserve Additional Pokies

Skycity Does Not Deserve Additional Pokies

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Casino operator SkyCity Entertainment should not receive any additional pokies after failing to stop a woman from gambling for ten hours, says New Zealand’s Green Party.

In return for building the convention center in Auckland, the New Zealand government has given SkyCity the rights to operate 230 additional video poker machines and 40 new gaming tables at its Auckland casino, plus other benefits including the crucial extension of its gaming license until 2048.

Last month, Auckland Council granted resource consent for the $450m project, clearing the way for the construction to begin within the next few months.

However, New Zealand’s Green Party is calling on the government to withdraw a concession granting SkyCity additional pokies after failing to ensure responsible gambling at its casino.

“SkyCity’s failure to stop a woman from 9club gambling for ten hours straight shows it is failing to operate its existing machines responsibly,” Denise Roche, the Green Party’s gambling spokesperson, said in a statement. “The casino shouldn’t be allowed hundreds more machines till it can prove it is operating responsibly with the ones it already has.”

So who was this woman who played for 10 freakin’ hours? Don’t worry because she’s not a gambling addict.

ONE News made a documentary testing SkyCity’s response to potential problem gamblers by sending an actor to play the pokies. The actor was able to spend hundreds of dollars on poker machines without any intervention from the casino’s staff.

“This is the second time in two years that SkyCity has been caught out by the media demonstrating zero host responsibility in allowing people to gamble for hours on end,” Roche added.

Maartyn Quivooy of Internal Affairs said that he was disappointed with the casino’s action, adding, “someone 9club playing for long hours should be approached, offered a break or asked if they want to leave.”

Internal Affairs said it will be talking to SkyCity about what happened to “understand why, see what steps they will take and can take.”

SkyCity maintains no breach of protocol occurred and insists that the cashier “intended” to hand the card about problem gambling but the actor didn’t take it. The 9club casino also said that it’s proud of its world-leading, best practice Host Responsibility Program.


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