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The Key Government needs to initiate a study into the problem gambling harm their deal with SkyCity will cause, Green Party gambling spokesperson Denise Roche said today.
Today is Gamblefree day. This event aims to raise awareness of problem gambling with activities planned throughout New Zealand.
"Gamblefree day is the perfect day to highlight the dangers of the Government's deal with SkyCity," said Ms Roche.
"Increasing the number of pokie machines at SkyCity will inevitably lead to more problem gambling.
"It is critical that the full economic and social consequences of the deal are examined so the public has the full picture.
"The Government talks a lot about the economic benefits of the deal, but has never addressed the economic and social downsides of increased problem gambling that the deal will cause.
"The Green Party complaint to the Auditor General about the SkyCity deal raises the issue of the lack of analysis in the bidding process on the negative economic and social consequences of this deal.
"It is time for the Government to come clean on the problem gambling harm this deal will do.
"The Government's own harm minimisation plans for gambling are at odds with the SkyCity deal.
"A Ministry of Health consultation document released earlier this month accepts that increasing the pokie machines at SkyCity will result in greater revenue through gambling.
"The Government needs to therefore commission a study into the potential harm that will result from lifting the number of pokie machines at SkyCity.
"The Key Government has sold the SkyCity deal as a win-win without looking into the potential harm to the wider community," Ms Roche said.