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The Standard

Key ignored advice to hike SkyCity levy

Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, April 24th, 2012 - 27 comments
Categories: corruption, john key, national - Tags: , ,

Since 2004, the government has collected a problem gambling levy from all types of licenced gambling to fund the government’s spending on problem gambling. It was introduced along with the sinking lid on pokies (the more you look back, the better the fifth Labour Government looks, eh?).

The levy on SkyCity’s casinos is half what it is on pokies in pubs.

In 2010, officials recommended a rebalancing – more on TAB, Lotto, and casinos, less on pub pokies – to reflect both where the profits from gambling were being made and divert less money from community grants from pokies and Lotto. The Nats picked up the recommendations with one exception – SkyCity’s levy didn’t increase.

This was all going on at the same time as Key was personally approaching National’s old friends and some time donors at SkyCity to build a convention centre in exchange for relaxation of the restrictions on its cancerous activities and, then, not reviewing any of the competing bids before approving their offer.

In other news, SkyCity’s profits rose 17% to $78m last year.

Nothing to see here.

27 comments on “Key ignored advice to hike SkyCity levy”

  1. vto 1

    .

    What a surprise

  2. marsman 2

    Corruption!

  3. Hilary 3

    An inquiry into all aspects of the gambling industry would be worthwhile to uncover what is really going on behind the scenes.

  4. muzza 4

    So when will the opposition be milked it hard in public domain…

    waiting…..

  5. ianmac 5

    But wait. Casinos employ thousands of people who would otherwise be bludging on the dole. We the taxpayers should actually be paying a levy to the Casinos for such great anti-dole support and we should pay a tax discount to every gambler in support of his generosity in donating huge lumps of his income to the Casino instead of spending it on foolish stuff like bread, and vegies or shoes for the kids. So you see, Mr Key is right in his support for Casinos as they assets for a healthy thriving community.

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    Its getting very smelly!!!!!

  7. DH 7

    There’s some interesting stats on gaming machines at Internal Affairs here, I didn’t realise the numbers were so big;

    http://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Resource-material-Casino-and-Non-Casino-Gaming-Gambits-March-2012

    Archived stats here

    http://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Resource-material-Information-We-Provide-Archived-Gaming-Statistics?OpenDocument

    Total revenue of the 18,000 non-casino gaming machines in 2011/2012 looks to be about $860 million, or an average of $48,000 per machine. If the 2070x SkyCity machines brought in the same sums they’d pull in $100million. $100million from non-casino machines would give a minimum of $37million to charity, how much do SkyCity give to charity from total operations?

    It’s easy to see why SkyCity want more pokies. Their’s are higher dollar value than the rest and they run 24hrs so they’d probably pull in double the $48k per machine. 500x at $48k is $24million, double it and you get the $49million that was quoted by Ernst & Young.

    • freedom 7.1

      since 1996 SkyCity Auckland Community Trust has donated approximately $25 million dollars. During that same period SkyCity had revenue of over $4 billion dollars.

      makes ya laugh eh? When you’re not screaming and pulling your hair out in utter frustration

      • Treetop 7.1.1

        … and stamping your feet in frustration with POOR Sky City not being able to expand there lucrative operation.

    • Treetop 7.2

      I like the way you have tried to crunch the revenue figure off a pokie machine.

      Is it too much to ask you what the max bet per spin is on every pokie machine at Sky City?

      It is really beginning to piss me off how people are comparing a casino machine to a non casino machine when it comes to the sinking lid policy. I think it is important to not lose sight of how quick a casino machine can empty out a wallet/purse compared to a non casino machine.

      It needs to be debated that a casino creates a more HARDENED pokie player than a pub as the stakes are much higher in a casino.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        Yeah its far harder for a concerned family member to head down to the casino and get you out of there somewhere, compared to finding you at the back room in the corner pub.

    • Carol 7.3

      I have heard that a lot of the money from non-Casino gambling machines doesn’t get back to the community as it should because of the way it’s filtered through trusts. Is it possible for this to be investigated?

      • DH 7.3.1

        That was mentioned in an earlier post Carol;

        http://thestandard.org.nz/gaming-industry-whistleblower/

        Looking at the DIA stats it does raise a lot of questions. Why are some returning only the minimum 37% when others are returning over 60%. You can bet there’s no shortage of white collar fat cats milking the system there.

        There’s massive sums of money involved, I had no idea gambling on pokies was that bad or that they made so much money out of them. They average nearly $1000 per week from a single pokie!

        • Carol 7.3.1.1

          Thanks. Of course, I did read that.

          Time for a full investigation into the Joyce- Key Boardwalk Empire!

          • DH 7.3.1.1.1

            Yes I agree, and hopefully the Audit Office will take it on. One only has to look at the numbers on the non-casino pokies to work out that what Key is offering SkyCity is worth far more than the cost of a Convention Centre. Not only is it unethical it’s not even a good deal for the taxpayer.

    • Treetop 7.4

      Pokie takings steady even as machine numbers cut
      http://www.nz herald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10801300

      2003: 25,221 non casino pokie machines
      2005: 21,343 non casino pokie machines
      2011: 18,167 non casino pokie machines

      2003 a non casino machine average intake was $37,310
      2011 a non casino machine average intake was $47,118

      “In contrast, each poker machine at SkyCity potentially earns $140,000 a year.”

      1647 casino machines at SkyCity pulled in $118 million in six months approximately $71,645 per machine

      • Treetop 7.4.1

        I think the problem with the link is due to a gap after nz and before herald.

      • DH 7.4.2

        It’s good to see the media doing their job for a change and picking apart all the lies on this deal one-by-one. Hopefully they’ll start thinking about the economics of it and figure out just how bad a deal it is from that perspective.

        Even if we put aside the moral & ethical considerations it is still a very bad deal. The market values an investment by the return it makes, a $350million investment of this type would be expected to return a nett profit before tax of around 8-9%. That’s about $30million. It’s been calculated that the extra pokies alone will return SkyCity $49million, making that deal by itself worth some $400-450million as an investment.

        Add in the casino licence extension which must be worth a few hundred $million at least, then factor in the other concessions like extra gaming tables etc, and you’re looking at a potential market value of more than $700million…. at least twice what Key has accepted. That difference will capitalise onto the share price of SkyCity because the market will sure know how much its worth, leaving the taxpayer hung out to dry.

        Everything about this deal sucks. It’s not even good business.

  8. You_Fool 8

    “Since 2004, the government has collected a problem gambling levy from all types of licenced gambling to fund the government’s spending on problem gambling. It was introduced along with the sinking lid on pokies (the more you look back, the better the fifth Labour Government looks, eh?).”

    John Key likes to take credit for this decrease in pokie machines anytime he can; every time I hear him speak on the subject he seems to bring up the facts surrounding the drop in pokie machines since 2008 and makes it sound as though the number of pokie machines was static or increasing before that with the decrease in machines all because of the Nats, and that any extra would be still well below the 2008 level. DPF also likes to make this point…

  9. BLiP 9

    Well, not surprising, really. John Key hasn’t been able to differentiate between a casino operation and Government itself for most of his adult life. In this instance, lucky him as PM gets a peek at the “burn card”, his “hole” cards are, of course, secret, the “flop” as dealt by his advisers hasn’t been much use and now its down to the “bluff”. But, really, he doesn’t give a fuck which way this hand goes, its just a side bet which might get a cheap deal for the next National Ltd™ conference. Meanwhile, he’s still got Parata doing the Black Jack Charter, bruiser over at the Christchurch roulette wheel, Joyce at the mega public service raffle, and Blinglish wandering around the floor dispensing great wads of borrowed cash to the players. High stakes, sure, but it ain’t his money and he’s outta here soon anyway.

    • felix 9.1

      “High stakes, sure, but it ain’t his money and he’s outta here soon anyway.”

      Exactly as he’s always done. Go figure, NZ.

  10. Carol 10

    Metiria Turei has formally requested that the Auditor General investigate the deal, and shonkey’s part in it.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6799816/SkyCity-deal-Call-for-Auditor-General-investigation

  11. To me the whole idea of Pokies supporting the community via trusts seems fundamentally flawed, and at best a way to legitimize the harm done. The best way to support communities would be to remove all pokies from communities.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      +1

      Committing harm to the community to support the community doesn’t add up.

    • Treetop 12.1

      Read the link in 12 and you can see how Sky City (Auckland) has to be carefully managed politically.

      “Auckland accounted for 60 per cent of the group earnings, they said, exposing the business to booms and busts in one area.”

      DTB thank you for posting a correction of my error in 7.4 re a link.

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    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    3 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    4 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    5 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    5 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    5 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    5 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago

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