Law for sale, again

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, June 13th, 2011 - 16 comments
Categories: capitalism - Tags:

Auckland has 250 licenced gambling venues. Problem gambling destroys families and leads to crime. So, it’s only natural that the government would want to encourage more gambling, eh? SkyCity wants to build a $350m casino/convention centre but only if it gets a law change. Key has agreed to the law change. Calls it progress.

This isn’t the first time the Nats have put the law up for sale. We all remember the Warner Bros shakedown. Chris Hipkins points out the stupidity in making a law change for a gambling company at the same time as Kiwirail workers lose their jobs because National refused to change its procurement policy:

“It’s ironic that National aren’t willing to back local companies like KiwiRail … but when one of the private sector corporates clicks their fingers, it seems there isn’t anything John Key won’t do to please them.”

National doesn’t believe in real jobs like manufacturing. Picking the pockets of gamblers (Key claims they’ll mostly be foreigners, so that’s alright) is more in line with National’s economic vision.

16 comments on “Law for sale, again”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    The parties involved (David Parker, the casino) are refusing to say how many extra tables/slot machines they want. David Parker said it would likely end up being a ‘modest’ increase, but wouldn’t clarify what that meant.
    Some bigwig at the casino said they have 1600 pokies and over 100 (might have said 110?) gaming tables.
    I could stomach a 5% increase. I think this thing is going to be a huge white elephant, so the government not having to stump up any cash is a big positive in my book. The construction will create a lot of jobs, even if the centre itself never reaches it’s full potential (due to peak oil etc).
    Probably the final number will be more like 10-20%.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      I think this thing is going to be a huge white elephant, so the government not having to stump up any cash is a big positive in my book

      Uh, actually if you really believe that it will be a huge white elephant, then a campaign needs to be started to stop the waste.

      BTW SkyCity doesn’t want a convention centre, it wants the law softened.

      Important not to confuse the means with the ends in this game.

  2. g_man 2

    Good to see Len Brown speaking out against it on TV last night …

    … oh no, that’s right he wasn’t, was he? He was supporting it whole-heartedly.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Yeah, Len Brown is just as addicted to the delusional growth meme as NAct and Labour.

  3. prism 3

    Neo liberals again. Casino money to pay for what we should be financing ourselves. A ‘quid’ pro quo is to be given – with wider facilities enabled, lesser controls. Great. Put us on the money-laundering circuit for the gun runners, drug runners, land snatch speculators, we want money and if you bring your illicit gains and some crime we don’t mind. Getting government hands on more people’s money is a desire which leads to this casino deal. Another one was when the neo libs brought pokies to NZ. Well they have them in Australia, the lickspittle politicians that we have can’t think for themselves and they couldn’t see the long-term disadvantages of these insidious asset strippers which milk and destroy people especially poorer ones and tempt them with dreams of riches.

    Matthew Hooton is arguing on that this type of policy is what voters wanted when they voted NACT in last election. It is such an old worn-out line that if people vote for a party they give it a mandate for every one of its election policies and every one they come up with afterwards. As if people sit down for even one evening with pencil and paper and a summary of what each party has done, is planning, and is likely to initiate!! We didn’t make a calculation of the cost of buying a vehicle without guarantees, thoroughly worn out, but with a nice shiny new coat of paint.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      What annoys me is Hooten’s use of the word “pragmatic”. He makes selling out our statutory sovereignty to a corporate sound like some kind of middle road instead of the Right Wing corporatism that it is.

      He was quite right that Douglas and Richardson would not have done this deal, because even those extremists would never have caved in for corporate money.

      John Key is a sell out and we are the ones being sold out.

    • Jim Nald 3.2

      Gambling is a social disease. Any right minded Government should make it infect deeper and more widely. Stopping or containing gambling would be nanny state. Let self responsibility rule.
      Fling open the gambling dens and let loose the gambling woes.

      Can’t waste a good social disease. Must be opportunistic. One man’s loss is another man’s win.

  4. prism 4

    Some were wondering what initiates moderation. I have just used Latin quotation – quid pro quo and the system may not know that one. ‘Lickspiitle’ politicians might be new. Mentioning Matthew Hooton? (Okayed in a few minutes.)

    • ZeeBop 4.1

      One rule for the wealthy another for the poor, how does that work. Well if you have few funds you are not going to sue, or ply influence in the back corridors of power. Now if your are so poor to be a threat to growth (the new social crime) that you will cost the state (due to its international pledged responsibilities) in higher disease, crime, social marginalization, poverty, then (because the poor can’t sue) they can ignore all those real reasons for a social safety net, and reinterpret social income support, to mean a punitive unremitting cycle of psychological torture that you are paid to accept by seeking assistance from your government. Its not just the Law for sale, National are selling everything.

      I welcome are new foreign and absent kiwi owner landlords. Its okay some of them are communists. Remember, living on welfare is a dream lifestyle, even the Minister for
      Social Development thinks so, she’d love to go back on the benefit, and take the battering
      of psychological attacks on her identity and self-worth. Conform damnit.

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    Progress = squandering fossil fuels on lunacy, pushing up CO2 emissions, and increasing the debt levels of nations.

    We live in such ‘interesting’ times, watching the system slowly fall apart, and watching the uninformed masses continue to vote for clowns and criminals as leaders.

    As per the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, presumably it will be ‘bread and circuses’ till the near the end, and then circuses without bread.

    • ZeeBop 5.1

      Growth is God. Measure just Growth, no need to break it down, shift through the detail, all Growth is Good, sorry God. Alarmingly Growth is tied to activity, not non-activity. Growth is tied to digging, mining, building, exploiting, using up precious resources. And you well damnit better participate or you will be denied even the basics of living, no social safety net for you sonny jim. The lockstep March of the neo-Nazi-like progressives at any cost. Hitler, as they point out, did turn Germany industry around and get the country moving and in under a decade he had laid waste to Germany and the world!
      If you measure just Growth, put no limits on Growth, expect the spanish inquistion, or —name your elite cannibalization event in history here—.
      Welcome to History.

  6. RobC 6

    What I can’t reconcile, and what gets me a little annoyed, is how this relates to local gaming operators.

    Most local councils are operating “sinking lid” policies for pokie machines. Less money for the community gaming trusts, less money being distributed to community organisations – volunteer, non-profit organisations that run on the sniff of an oily rag.

    Yet a corporate suggests opening his cheque book … no problem Mr Sky City, how many extra machines do you want?

    Either we have a gambling problem that requires restricting the number of pokie machines in NZ, or we don’t. I guess it’s too much to hope consistency is applied to both the corporate and community arms in this area.

    • Craig Glen Eden 6.1

      You are 100% correct RobC my thoughts exactly and this is hypocritical of Len Brown I am sad to say.

  7. tc 7

    Yeah why isn’t that nice Mr Key finding some corporate sponsors for his recession busting cycleway….it could run straight through an expanded casino/convention centre/child minding centre come carpark….win win !

  8. Tony 8

    Given Key is saying the money will mostly come from tourists, some journalist needs to ask Key if he would support the Casino only allowing people with foriegn passports (as other casino’s around the world do, to protect their local people from gambling harm).

    He wont – because the reality is that 40% of pokie profit comes from problem gamblers – and those problem gamblers will be locals, not the discretionary tourist gambler.

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