Greens call for deferral of SkyCity’s new pokies following problem gambling failure

The Green Party is calling for the Government to prevent Sky City from gaining the 230 additional pokie machines it was given in the Convention Centre deal, following a media sting by ONE News in which an actor was able to spend hundreds of dollars on pokie machines over ten hours without any intervention from SkyCity staff.

SkyCity is due to activate an additional 230 pokie machines, and an additional 52 gaming tables under the terms of the Pokies for Convention Centre deal.

“SkyCity’s failure to stop a woman from gambling for ten hours straight shows it is failing to operate its existing machines responsibly, said Denise Roche, the Green Party’s gambling spokesperson.

“The casino shouldn’t be allowed hundreds more machines till it can prove it is operating responsibly with the ones it already has.

“A person’s life can be changed forever, after ten hours at a pokie machine. Any reasonable person would think this length of time pumping money into the slots is a worry. The fact SkyCity seems to think this is okay, shows it has a warped view of what is problem gambling.

“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.

“Last time, I made a complaint to Department of Internal Affairs Gambling Compliance, which found SkyCity had been negligent in its host responsibility obligations.

“SkyCity have obviously learned nothing from that experience, as they have again been caught out as rogue corporate failing to show any host responsibility.

“I’ll be making another complaint to Gambling Compliance and hope this time some stronger action, such as a suspension of SkyCity’s casino licence for a short period, may teach it to show some responsibility in addressing problem gambling.