GAMBLING

Auckland Council asked to oppose the Pokies-for -Convention Centre deal

Thursday 19 April 2012, 7:41AM
By Cathy Casey
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AUCKLAND CITY

Councillor Cathy Casey has formally asked the Auckland Council to oppose the “pokies-for-convention centre” deal by the Government

Dr Casey has placed this Notice of Motion on the agenda of the Governing Body of 26 April:

“That Auckland Council advises the Government that it does not support any legislation which will allow Sky City to increase opportunities for gambling in return for a National Convention Centre.”

Councillor Casey says there is enormous public opposition to the deal and it is time for Auckland Council to take a stand.

“It is time for Auckland Council to show some leadership about what we want for the future of Auckland.  We want to minimise the harm from gambling.  We don’t want a national convention centre if it compromises our gambling laws and allows Sky City to make more profit for its shareholders at the expense of families and communities.

“The public is outraged by Sky City’s aggressive lobbying and its payments to political parties, Mayoral candidates and celebrity promoters.

“It is time for Auckland Council to make its independent position clear on this issue. We have an obligation to speak on behalf of our citizens.  The debate on the subject will continue as the deal proceeds therefore it is timely that council determines its position and communicates it clearly to the Government.

“Auckland Council needs to advise the Government that we do not want to trade gambling legislation for a “free” convention centre. We have a duty of care to our citizens and that includes limiting the harm done from gambling.”