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SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison is making desperate claims in an effort to minimise the harm SkyCity's operations cause the wider community, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.
The Government is negotiating with SkyCity to build an international convention centre in Auckland in exchange for allowing up to 350 new pokie machines.
"Mr Morrison's attacks on other forms of gambling show how desperate a position SkyCity and the Government are in over this dirty deal," said Mrs Turei.
"SkyCity claims that Lotto is more harmful than casino gambling is cherry picking a small amount of research by the Health Sponsorship Council into the effects of gambling on family members of gamblers.
"Pokie machines are the most harmful form of gambling in New Zealand according to the Problem Gambling Foundation," said Mrs Turei.
"The Problem Gambling Foundation has identified pokie machines as being the most harmful form of gambling. 77% - 85% of problem gamblers use them as their primary mode of gambling.
"SkyCity's deal with the National Government will greatly expand the use of pokie machines in the Auckland region.
"Expanding the number of pokie machines at New Zealand's largest casino will cause harm to the community.
"Mr Morrison's other claim that Auckland's transport woes somehow act as a barrier to preventing the spread of problem gambling show how bad a position he and the Government are in over this deal."