A sad story in the Herald today of a man who got hooked on pokies. He spent all his money on them at pubs and SkyCity. Started borrowing from family and partners. Destroyed those relationships. Now lives in a car despite his large income. Started taking deposits from clients and not doing the work.
Don’t listen to the shills* who say ‘what’s the harm in the few more machines’? SkyCity wouldn’t want more machines if it wouldn’t get more business because of them. SkyCity’s boss wants more pokies because “if you come here on a Wednesday night [pay day] or a Friday night, the property is full… We clearly want to expand our business. There is clearly demand for it”
Key wants to let these scumbags addict more people to their gambling machines. They want to profit from destroying more lives, fueling more crime, and we get some shitty convention centre that won’t even pay for itself in return.
What’s next? An opera house built by drug dealers in exchange for our very own Hamsterdam?
This shit can still be stopped. The Government only has a one vote majority on this. John Banks, who is known to oppose gambling having seen what crime did to his family growing up, can vote against this dirty deal and save families from the experience he went through.
And the opposition needs to get stuck in too. They need to make clear that any legislative favours that National gives SkyCity will be reversed as a matter of priority in 2014/15. They also should take a leaf from the South Australian Treasurer, who responded to SkyCity’s ‘convention centre for law changes’ offer there by telling them they were “dreaming” and threatening to repeal their gambling licence.
The Greens and Labour need to not just oppose SkyCity’s expansion but to ask themselves why SkyCity’s cancer should be allowed to exist at all in the heart of our cities.
*(and how many of those shills are being paid by SkyCity, like Mike Hosking, or given special treatment as VIPs, or have other conflicts of interest, like Paul Holmes?)
PS. it turns out the 800 jobs promised by SkyCity from the white elephant convention centre is grossly inflated – twice what the larger centre in Melbourne employs and four times what other bidders said they would employ.