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SkyCity’s incoherent excuses

Written By: - Date published: 7:21 am, April 18th, 2012 - 82 comments
Categories: business, national - Tags: , ,

SkyCity seems to be feeling the pressure of public concern over their dodgy deal with the Nats, which will ramp up the number of addictive pokie machines in their casino. Yesterday we were treated to his media blurt:

Lotto worse than pokies – SkyCity boss

SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison says Lotto does more harm to society than its Auckland casino.

He also says SkyCity’s desired increase in machines won’t result in more problem gambling, because Auckland’s public transport system makes getting to the casino problematic. …

But Mr Morrison says Lotto, and “mums in South Auckland” using pokies in pubs around the country, do more damage than SkyCity.

“There is no doubt the incidence of harm is through pokie machines in the community, scattered throughout the community,” says Mr Morrison.

“The reality is public transport in Auckland isn’t that great. You don’t just arrive at SkyCity. You make a deliberate decision to go to SkyCity.

So let me see if I have this straight. SkyCity pokies can’t possibly be harmful because no one will get to use them due to poor public transport. But if someone does manage to find their way there and use a pokie machine then for some reason that doesn’t need explaining the SkyCity machine will be much less harmful than those evil harmful pokies elsewhere in the country. And anyway it’s all Lotto’s fault. And something to do with mums – it’s their fault too. OK? Are we clear now?

No – not really. That’s the most incoherent bunch of nonsense I’ve heard in a long time. Pick one excuse and stick with it guys! Meanwhile back in the real world…

SkyCity currently has almost 1650 pokies on its premises, and in a deal with the Government, will be allowed to increase that to more than 2000 in exchange for a convention centre.

The deal has outraged anti-gambling organisations and the Opposition, whom say the Government is selling the country’s laws, and the increase in the number of machines will cause more problem gambling. …

SkyCity gives only 2.5 percent of its net profit to its charitable trust. Pokie machines in clubs and bars pay back over 37 percent.

‘There is a very clear correlation between availability of machines and the number of machines and the number of problems,” Problem Gambling Foundation chief executive Graeme Ramsey told Auckland Now last week. ”Research shows for every gaming machine you put in you get 0.8 of a problem gambler, so it’s almost one for one.” The foundation also says people who gamble in casinos are more likely to have gambling problems than those who spend their money elsewhere.

No wonder the poor SkyCity dears are having trouble coming up with a coherent story.

82 comments on “SkyCity’s incoherent excuses ”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    Newstalk ZB reports that the offer of more Pokies came from key, to the Casino; not the other way around as widely assumed.

    If true, that adds a whole nother level of craptacular to this story.

    And the source for the “it was Key’s idea”: Key.

    John Key’s confirmed from Indonesia that he made the offer to Sky City to install more pokie machines, if it built a new convention centre in the city.


    • framu 1.1

      so not only law change for sale – but law change for sale with no competitve tender.


    • Jim Nald 1.2

      o gee, key.

      please don’t spread around your dirty gambling habits even more and please take your sick casino economy with you on a one-way ticket out of the country.

    • Blue 1.3

      Of course it was Key’s idea. This has his ideology written all over it.

      Bribing the private sector to build stuff so the Government doesn’t have to.

      They will provide more pokies to problem gamblers, and it is up to the problem gamblers to exercise personal responsibility and stay away from the pokies.

      Because both the casino and the Government know that this will not happen, it is the perfect trap. Casino rakes in the dollars, Government and their supporters get to kick the shit out of a new vulnerable group in society for ballot box gain. Win-win.

    • DH 1.5

      That alleged Key offer doesn’t add up, it’s either spin designed to take the heat off Sky City or there’s far more dodgy business going on here than has been revealed.

      The present scenario is that Sky City offered a bribe to the Govt in order to get more pokies. This new scenario is that the Govt offered a bribe to Sky City to get a convention centre. That might be plausible if Sky City were the only ones in the game, but they’re not. Why offer just Sky City a deal when there’s other parties prepared to build the convention centre who might be amenable to a better offer that wouldn’t require changing our laws. It’s bullshit.

      • North 1.5.1

        Because John Key has a particular partiality for Sky City – “Profit [for the 1%] at Whatever Cost” sort of thing…..they’re speakin’ his language. Did you see that arrogant Sky City CEO aggressively asserting that Lotto’s more damaging ? Gimme a break……

        I am a Sky City Survivor. Yes, I’m an addict and all that stuff but it happened when I was in the deepest depression and needed the “instant” filip of winning bucks to prove, in my fucked up mind at the time, that I was actually worth something.

        John Key is an amoral man ! The Dirty Dollar Is His Daddy. I got defects, clearly. I’m an addicted fuckwit – I’m not evil like the “Smile and Wave Conman” however.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Yup, now it is leading the online Herald – “SkyCity deal was PM’s own offer”

    The arrogant and high handed cronyism of this government was always going to lead to a corruption scandal eventually, but that it involves gambling and John Key as well can only be seen as an extra bonus with cream and a cherry on top.

    • David 2.1

      Raegun commenting on this morning’s Herald editorial:

      “Poker machine are designed specifically to suck the punters in with the bright lights and music and any “winnings” you may have being delivered in credits. How many people would keep feeding the things if instead of, say, 50 credits your “win” came up as 20c, not too many I would imagine.

      I have yet to see anyone, expressionless faced, at a lotto counter feeding $20 note one after the other, to the person behind the counter.

      Then of course there is the matter of how much of the gamblings are returned to the community, many of us regard our lotto purchase as a donation with possible benefits.

      I could go on forever. This deals stinks, no other word for it, I’m afraid”


    • aerobubble 2.2

      Surely when a politician makes a career ending mistake they invariable make more so they get done for the a minor fiasco, and can say they were hard done by.

  3. LynW 3

    I assume this is normal business practise for a man who was drawn to and shaped by the ethos of the financial markets.

    • Tigger 3.1

      Perfectly put LW. Key is pathological in the way he submits to the dollar.

    • Tigger 3.2

      Perfectly put LW. Key is pathological in the way he submits to the dollar. Hardly a quality we want in a PM.

      • David 3.2.1

        Key’s version of things: “It’s largely the issue of a piece of infrastructure for tourism and it’s an important part of building that tourism model.”

        No John. It’s not the tourists who are queuing up on a Weds or Friday night to spend their money: why would they? If that’s the time Sky City is full that’s because less well off NZers have made the trip to Sky City: no-one else.

  4. Janice 4

    I don’t think I have caught up with who is going to have the ongoing running costs of this wonderful convention centre. With its proposed 900 new jobs (cycleway anybody?) it is going to be quite a white elephant for the few conventions that may be attracted. I guess the Auckland ratepayers will be stuck with the costs of it, you can bet it won’t be Sky City with its extra income from the new pokies, or the large brothel planned for nearby. Perhaps the super shitty should strike an extra rate for the businesses benefiting from this project and not have the residents paying. Or perhaps withhold the building consent until someone sees sense.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      1) The brothels which open nearby are no doubt considered part of the employment and economic benefits of the project.

      2) Key will have promised Sky City lots of tax payer (and National Party) funded functions to help keep the White Elephant afloat.

      • Janice 4.1.1

        Perhaps Untied Future can be encouraged to hold their functions there as well. Oh no, just realised two Petes and hair being looked after by 900 staff won’t be much use in making the place profitable. Maybe the staff will all be only employed for each function and then laid off under the 90 day roll over, and new staff hired for the next session. Plenty of people out there looking for jobs, they could even be subsided by WINZ if they have been unemployed for six months.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    You know, he did actually have numbers for why Lotto is worse than Casinos.

    The numbers were, 3.4% of households are negatively affected by poky machines in pubs and taversn, 0.9% of households are negatively affected by playing lotto and 0.7% are negatively affected by casinos.

    On the face of it, with these numbers, we should be more concerned about regulating and curtailing lotto than we are about poky machines in casino. That was his point.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      We might find that lotto comprises entry level gambling exposure. Children see their parents buying their lotto tickets at the supermarket for gawds sakes, and then its on prime time TV week after week.

    • Uturn 5.2

      Unless he offered actual numbers, he’s, not very eagerly, fudging the figures. The problem is that no mention is made of how the number of households compares to the number of pokies available, or how many households were surveyed, or from which areas, or the fact that there are definitely more households than casinos in NZ. No mention is made of what constitutes “negative” effects. He sounds like a tobacco salesman who says that those who died while smoking actually died from high cholesterol brought on by eating cheese.

      • Lanthanide 5.2.1

        Those were the numbers he gave on National Radio yesterday in the interview.

        I can’t remember the actual term he used, I just subsituted with ‘negative’ here as it broadly covers whatever it was he said. It might have bee 3.4% of all households have problems with gambling caused by local pokies.

        No, he obviously didn’t give the full details behind the numbers, but they must have come from some study or another. I’m sure the media (and potentially you) could find out if they were interested in his source.

        • Colonial Viper

          3.4% of households – that’s horrific. And that’s just problems on pokies – what about other forms of gambling???

          So what we are saying is that perhaps 200,000 New Zealanders live in households which are hurt by problem gambling. FFS what are we allowing ourselves to be.

          • Lanthanide

            Yeah, I was quite shocked by that figure too. But he does make a compelling case (if he has accurately reflected the stats, and the study was rigoriously done): casinos really aren’t the biggest thing we should be worrying about when it comes to gambling.

            Notably absent from this list of numbers is also TAB. I’d guess that would be a bit more serious than Lotto but not as bad as pokies. Of course there is going to be a very large overlap for people that are harmed by multiple gambling activities, so it’s difficult to know how that was accounted for in the figures.

            • Colonial Viper

              Just be aware that the case he is presenting is not unlike the “menthol cigarettes are better for you than standard cigarettes, so smoke menthol cigarettes instead” PR strategy.

              Neither are good for you.

              Key has not proposed curtailing pub pokies in exchange for the SkyCity deal. So he is not taking away any gambling harm, he is still adding gambling harm – albeit less than adding 500 pub pokies.

              • Lanthanide

                Yes, certainly. I just take issue with the title of this post saying that it was incoherent. It is actually very coherent what he’s saying, it just might be irrelevant.

                • Jim Nald

                  How about –
                  it is incoherent if you have brains, heart and seek to discover facts;
                  it is coherent if you have greed, ruthlessness and seek to invent subterfuge.

    • Deano 5.3

      But consider the rates of harm.

      55% of people play Lotto, only 8% use casino game machines

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.1

        ONLY 8%? So like a quarter million adults is now an ONLY?

        • Deano

          I’m saying that the rate of harm from casinos is much higher.

          1 in 60 for Lotto players. 1 in 11 for casino users.

    • Jan 5.4

      That’s interesting did you miss the irony or sarcasm tag from, your post. There is no figure for the harm caused by lotto. The problem gambling foundation in it’s latest leaflet says that Pokie machines are the most harmful form of gambling as 77% – 85% of problem gamblers use them as their primary mode of gambling. and those in casinos are the second most damaging. Lotto per se in contrast doesn’t get a mention as a problem even thought it does use up a lot of money or raise a lot of prize money which ever way you look at it. http://www.pgfnz.org.nz/Uploads/Library/01NZGam.pdf.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    Right now district councils are supposedly doing their long term planning and supposedly going through the public consultation process.

    I use the word ‘supposedly’ because anyone who understands English and can put together a meaningful sentence is utterly appalled at the garbage being presented by councils as ‘planning’.

    At this point stage I have identified 106 oxymorons, mutually exclusive statements, vague statements which are not clarified in the so-called plan, and completely meaningless statements such as:

    ‘compares favourably’ with no reference to what is being compared and what it it is being compared with,

    ‘restore the value of the fund’ with no reference to whether that is the numerical value, the CPI inflation adjusted value, the value compared to changes in the price of gold, or oil concrete and steel -which councils are very much concerned with using. What is more, my district council tells me it will retore the value of a fund which ahs been going down in value by taking less from it.

    ‘current future requirements’ – a totally meaningless term

    ‘sustainable development’ , i.e. covering more farmland with concrete and asphalt at a time when global oil extraction has peaked and the global financial system is shaking itself to pieces.

    ‘5.5%’ compounding rate increases (or more) leading to a doubling of rates over a decade.

    Fortunately for local government, the bulk of the populace is financially illiterate and scientifically illiterate (as are all the senior council officers I have spoken with uo to this point of time), so the garbage generated by councils as ‘plans for the future’ goes largely unopposed.

    And communities get driven ever-faster off the cliff.

    It is a great pity that The Standard is not focuing its attention on the major issue of month. Submissions close at the end of April where I live. Presumably it is the same elsewhere.

    What is more, under the fascist rules now being imposed, submitters are not allowed to speak to submissions they have made, i.e. I have been told that the 106 errors, oxymorons and meaningless statements I have identifed in my local authority’s so-called plan must all be discussed in no more than 15 minutes.

    Democracy is a joke in NZ.

    Of course, we’ve known that for a long time.

    We might ask what the Labour Party is doing about this shambles.

    The problem is, the rules were set up by Labour, so all we hear from Labour is a deathly silence on the matter.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6.1

      God, I have missed you.

    • Jim Nald 6.2

      Fascinating … I am now pondering on my current future requirements. After that, I might creatively mull on my future current requirements. By morning tea time, I shall be well past my present needs.

    • The Baron 6.3

      OK, I can’t even begin to join the dots on how this is related to SkyCity’s convention centre offer.

      But I am sure that lurking in here somewhere is peak oil paranoia, right AFKTT?! BINGO! Is that what you mean by being full of errors, btw – that they don’t freak the fuck out about the end of the world?

      And, um, isn’t that meant to have happened by now? I thought we were meant to go into meltdown in October last year, wasn’t it? Whoopsie, I guess we will just keep on trucking on after all, eh.

      • Lanthanide 6.3.1

        It’s always the mythical 3rd financial quarter where the shit hits the fan. I guess it’ll happen this year, instead of last year. Or 2010, or 2009, or 2008, or every 3rd financial quarter since 2007.

    • Herodotus 6.4

      At the last LTCCP I made a presentation to – my concern was relating to the increase of debt levels and how the then proposed financial controls managing the level of debt were to be greatly increased, increasing the debt levels by over 4 times, and how there was no mention of at what level of debt was substainable to the rate payer nor was there mention/plan of when and how this debt would be reduced (I think inflation was to reduce the value of this debt over time). The only response I was able to get out from a councillor was what my opinion was on how the Clevedon or Maraetai library was to be funded. They had no idea of anything resembling Financial stewardship. This was a process they HAD to be seen engaging in
      Perhaps Nationals financial plan to save NZ has now been revealed – Need money don’t increase debt increase pokkie machines- indirect taxation !!!
      I would also like to see the feasibility that displays that Sky City convention centre does not make economic sense without the need for more machines, and for someone to ask JK if he has seen such a report and why he has been told/thinks that there is a need for added machines to make this centre econimically viable ? As it stand such a centre as a stand alone is not financialy viable and then we don’t need it.

  7. Uturn 7

    Nice to see you back, AFKTT. Clearly you’ve been busy.

    “106 errors, oxymorons and meaningless statements I have identifed in my local authority’s so-called plan must all be discussed in no more than 15 minutes.”

    One way to do it is to identify the underlying idea/philosophy that the errors/oxymorons/waffle represent and write a 5 – 10 minute reply in a form that loosely simulates a spoken word essay on “Council Plans for the Future”, demonstrating why those ideas are either immoral/destructive to communities/wrong/unnecessary.

    From experience, pointing out the many errors you’ve found, in a council hearing environment, is not a good use of time no matter how enjoyable it may be. Ideas catch, and if you can find a good idea and send it back against the opposing one, you have a good chance of consuming it’s force. In the very least, if someone comes looking, later on, they will find your statements just as fresh and persuasive as the day they were delivered.

    • Afewknowthetruth 7.1


      I am doing both

      I am pointing out the errors, oxymorons, inconsistencies, and meaningless statements etc.

      And I am providing the council with accurate scientific data and accurate economic data. That does not go down at all well with teh council, as I’m sure you can imagine.

      I suspect I am the only person in NZ doing so, but I’d like to see postings if others are doing the same.

      I have no time to continue with this discussion, for obvious reasons.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.1.1

        Make sure you tell them about fiat currencies collapsing by December 2011.

        • Lanthanide

          I think he’d be much better off if he just gave broad timelines for when things are going to be “significantly worse”, instead of trying to pinpoint months down for specific events. The financial system has shown repeatedly that it can keep kicking the can down the road for a long time. Eventually they’ll stumble, but imagining that can be predicted that from an ants view on the ground is rather optimistic.

          • Colonial Viper

            Quite true I think. The road for the can is getting narrower though. They are only able to continue their game of ‘pretend and extend’ by being willing to sacrifice more and more people at the bottom of the pyramid.

            NB the bottom of the pyramid = the bottom 99% of the people in the world.

  8. ianmac 8

    But Mr Morrison says Lotto, and “mums in South Auckland” using pokies in pubs around the country, do more damage than SkyCity.

    There we have it then. Those mums can instead buy shares in SOEs just like John Key says. Win/win.

  9. Johnm 9

    Hi AFKTT
    Your comments remind me of the book: “Death Sentence The Decay of Public Language” by Don Watson 2003. Quotes from the book:

    “Don’t you see the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?”
    George Orwell 1984

    Reminds me when Lockwood Smith tried to rule in Parliament the word “Privatisation” shouldn’t be used in reference to the asset sale bill.The aim is to shut down the accurate perception of the reality. For Fascist states and Fascism Lite (As in New Zealand) this is a very important control tool.

    From the same book : garbage thinking produces garbage language:

    “Over the coming twelve months we will be enhancing our product offering to bring
    you new features and access to innovative funds. You can be confident that our comm-
    itment is resolute, to make changes that investor’s value.”
    Insurance company newsletter

    The sort language that must have hoodwinked a lot of Finance Company Investors who lost their shirts.

    “Wheresoever manners and fashions are corrupted, language is. It
    imitates the public riot”
    Ben Johnson

    “At this point stage I have identified 106 oxymorons, mutually exclusive statements, vague statements which are not clarified in the so-called plan, and completely meaningless statements such as:
    ‘compares favourably’ with no reference to what is being compared and what it it is being compared with,”

    It’s all a cover for same old…same old… same old….same old which keeps those lucrative salaries coming in with the minimum of pain associated with understanding the new paradigm now on us requiring moral courage and new accurate thinking. Easy to hide behind the fog of befuddled language

    The root of all this is the cowardice (Human Failing) to face up to painful new realities, to continue denial covered by Intellectual ideology and obfuscation.

  10. Afewknowthetruth 10

    The Baron.

    ‘to go into meltdown in October last year, wasn’t it?’

    Thanks for pointing out my error. Everything has got much better since October, hasn’t it?

    The WEF did not forecast economic turmoil and social upheaval (as reported in the Guardian in February)

    The did IMF not cut its forecasts for global economic growth and indicate that ‘GDP across the 17-member eurozone will contract by 0.5% in 2012’.

    There was no rioting in Greece. Nor were there two emergency injections of funds. There is no talk of the need for further injections of funds to prevent Greece collapsing.

    The Italian government was not replaced by an unelected beaurocrat.

    There is still a functioning government in Belgium.

    Portugal was not forced to pay 19% interest on short term bonds.

    The overall unemployment rate in Spain has not risen to 23% and the youth unemployment rate is not 51%. There have been no strikes and no rioting in the streets in Spain.

    There has been no drought in Spain.

    15,000 high temperature records were not broken in the US in March.

    There were no unseasonal tornadoes and nobody died because nothing got smashed up,

    There is no hosepipe ban in England because there is no drought there. And agricultural production is not the least bit threatened.

    The British economy is surging ahead and there was no ‘austerity budget’ a few weeks ago.

    The average price of Brent Oil is not substantially higher than in 2011 because the world is awash with cheap oil.

    My local council has not suddenly done a u-turn and is not proposing to reduce releases from its ‘Perpetual Investment Fund’ to stop it vanishing; my local council is not proposing to make substantial cuts to services and defer capital expenditure because there is plenty of money and everythng is getting better.

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      Your definition of ‘meltdown’ is clearly quite different from other people’s.

      Also the IMF has just raised their forecasts for 2012.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Also the IMF has just raised their forecasts for 2012.

        Yes, that’s what happens when you print billions into the financial economy and move all the debt and liabilities off balance sheet.

        I too could raise my personal forecasts if I had the ability to do those things.

  11. Hami Shearlie 11

    So the Sky City deal was all thought up by Jonkey? Makes you wonder what other little “ideas” are percolating away in that toupeed head doesn’t it?

  12. prism 12

    When I heard the Sky City spokesperson saying that the casino was far away from the low income areas where problem gamblers were situated I remembered visiting the Christchurch Casino. It was in the afternoon, the quiet period for the machines, and at that time the casino held a special for pensioners who didn’t appear to be from the pluty side of town.

    I suggest that if Sky City gain more pokies they will have excess at down times for public use, and are then likely to promote their use to the people of the downside of the city. They often offer free transport so it would make a really nice outing from the everyday drudge of life, very enticing indeed.

    And it is interesting to see what a drawcard casinos are to the general public. I visited Christchurch with a tourism course and the students and our tutor, were very positive about them seeing them as attractive even glamorous places to spend time and money in.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      Casinos have never made any sense to me. I’ve never seen the appeal of losing a whole bunch of money for no tangible gain.

      I am on the whole quite fiscally conservative though.

  13. captain hook 13

    this country is overwhelmed with loudmouths who shout long and hard about anything they think is wonderful.
    what it usually means is that the poor are being ripped off by their betters.
    if it was legit then they wouldn’t have to make so much noise about it.
    in the meantime the building industry gets to erect another edifice and more people are lued into the money suckers.

  14. Afewknowthetruth 14

    Just in case anyone is not clear on the matter, the entire financial system is a gigantic Ponzi scheme which has reached the limit of tangible expansion, but may not yet have reached the limit of notional expansion.

    Most local authorites are participating heavily in the international ‘casino markets’. Things didn’t look too bad when the financial bubble was being inflated (2000 to 2007) because the numbers looked good on paper, but now that the financial bubble is bursting (2008 to present, due to peaking of energy and resources) local government finances are looking worse by the day.

    Of course, putting in more pokie machines is a way of pretending the financial system is sustainable, by sucking the last of the discretionary spending out of gambling addicts, many of whom are gambling because they see that as the only way out of their personal predicaments.

    One comment from the floor (not mine) at the council’s presentation of its so-called plans on Monday sums it up fairly succinctly: “I thought it was a load of bollocks.”

  15. Te Reo Putake 15

    David Shearer is on to it! He’s set up a website where voters can let Shonkey know how they feel about this deal.
    BTW, if Key is such a financial genius, why is he such a pisspoor negotiator? He gifted Warners millions they hadn’t even asked for, now he’s bunging the casino gaming machines that weren’t even part of the discussions till he opened his big fat mouth!

    • toad 15.1

      It doesn’t seem to occur to Key that many New Zealanders would view that as corrupt. I guess that’s the way things work in the world of finance Key comes from.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2

      He’s not a financial genius, he’s a psychopath pretending to be whomever he’s speaking to wants him to be. He’s very good at that but, then, psychopaths are.

      • muzza 15.2.1

        When you say “very good at it”

        – You mean very good at fooling morons! He is not a shred of good at lying or even making a good hash of that, but yet that seems to be good enough to keep fooling.

        People are still clutching at politics like its going to make a difference….ITS NOT!

        Time to accept that and take some real action, not just sit back and let it happen!

    • Georgecom 15.3

      Increasingly looks like law changes for sale doesn’t it.

      First the Warner Bros fiasco where Key and Jackson cost the tax payers $20 million and a law change. Key was prepared to borrow an extra $20 million to pay off Warners and change the law for some political points scoring.

      Now we learn that Key wen’t and set a deal in motion which gets a convention centre (which I doubt will raise much new revenue for Auckland) in return for 400 extra gaming machines, and a change of law.

      Maybe the best thing Key can do is quit before any more laws get changed for cash.

      Can someone remind me when the last occurence of a law change for cash was? I don’t mean party political contributions, such as the Exclusive Brethren giving Brash some cash for policies they liked. I mean the government directly changing NZ law for the benefit of a particular for profit entity.


  16. Steve 16

    Re the 800 or 900 jobs ongoing… I understand that is a mixture of full time and part time jobs. However, have been unable to establish the percentage.

    • Clashman 16.1

      I wonder how many of the jobs are prostitutes to service the conference attendees? We should really be thanking John for creating these job opportunities for our daughters.

  17. Uturn 17

    Two interviews here on this issue from National Radio:

    This one features Nigel Morrison’s unsupported “3.6, 0.7 and 0.9” claims.


    Short of calling the guy up and asking him, I haven’t found any source to those percentages and by the sound of his defensive rhetoric, he won’t be forthcoming. He says all those patrons that he previously identified as “south auckland mums”, in the herald yesterday, are bad for his business.


    No word on how he knows they are all from South Auckland and all mums. Maybe players signed a disclosure statement that was sent directly to Sky City from wherever they were gambling. He also says 3.6 units of something will happen to people in the community. Still, he must have got those claims from somewhere. I’m sure it was reputable source and that he didn’t make it up. Let’s trust him and move on.


    This one has Professor Max Abbott and Chief Executive Graham Ramsey, April 17.

    Another bizarre interview, but then listening to National Radio is a free choice. I was amused at the moral gymnastics that were being performed, until I remembered that to observe something destructive, you don’t actually have to be offended by the event – in some cases it might even help if you aren’t. The suggestion left hanging is that it might be ok to feed our tourist’s self destruction – they aren’t real people apparently, and we make a buck out of it – but we should be concerned about screwing our own, unless they are “south auckland mums”, in which case the sooner we ignore their existence the better for business.

    It seems that to the gaming industry the difference between 0.7 and 0.9 ofharm is a measure of intent, class, legitimacy and has a double-negative effect: Although you do have to make a concerted effort to buy a lotto ticket, you have to make 0.2 units more effort to go into a casino. That makes the harm difference between (or combined) 0.2 and 0.7 practically zero, because Lotto exists and that makes pokies inconsequential. I have no idea what these figures relate to, but then neither does Sky City or Morrison.

    Then there is Key selling laws to Casinos. An issue easily solved. It’s a classy industry, that gaming business. Just thinking about it has my brain spinning like a roulette wheel.

  18. freedom 18

    NZHerald poll has 34% in favour of more pokies, so i guess that’s another John Key mandate.

  19. I’ve checked the electoral returns for the 2010 Auckland Mayoral campaign.

    John Banks did not declare a $15,000 donation from Sky City.

    Len Brown did declare a $15,000 donation from Sky City..

    If Sky City gave John Banks a $15,000 donation, which was not anonymous, then John Banks had a statutory duty under the Local Electoral Act 2001 to declare it.

    Anyone got the EVIDENCE that Sky City gave a $15,000 donation to John Banks that was NOT anonymous?

    If so – please provide the details to me, and I will make a formal complaint to the Police.

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    • North 19.1

      Go Penny……I love it. You are formidable. The Prime Mincer and Sir Botox Bloody Banks pale against you.

      Go Girl !

    • xtasy 19.2

      Penny – What you deserve is a separate news channel, or at least a prominent spot on Triangle TV or the likes, so that free democracy is actully exercised in NZ. We know it is not, and it is the elite property and business clique running the whole show (including political party funding).

      At least this website offers a fair and open forum.

  20. fender 20

    I couldnt believe the wombat shit pouring out of that Australian guys mouth.

    When asked what he thought of the reservations that the Ministry of Internal Affairs had he said that “they would ban everything if they could”, outrageous statement!

    Hasn’t that nice Mr Key got some great friends, really high calibre fuckwits.

  21. prism 21

    David Shearer to John Key – Put your cards on the table. Very apt.

  22. And the media have started to get into Key about the issue.

    Good stuff. 

    • freedom 22.1

      “He did not feel that there was strong public opposition towards the deal.’
      When Key picks up his knighthood, will it be for services to comedy?

  23. RedBaron 23

    That Nigel seems to be channelling “bene bashing”. Is there anything in this country that isn’t the fault of the overworked, badly paid (single) mum from Manakau? So much power so poorly used , not..

    Anyway, think about giving your Kiwisaver provider an earful as the chances are they have sky city shares or switch to an ethical fund as they usually avoid booze and gambling stocks.
    AGM unfortunately not until Oct 2012 probably a bit far away to buy a minimum couple of shares and roast the directors.

  24. David 24

    Just a little more history: John Key defending Sky City deal after kids left screaming in van by pokie parents, March 3 Herald


    a quote from Key in that article:

    “So even if this deal is to go through, the number of pokie machines in New Zealand would actually be falling. They just wouldn’t fall quite as rapidly.”

    Hard for them to fall at all, John, I imagine when you start by adding another 500. You arent going to go out and take the other ones away: you’ll have to wait for their owners not to want them anymore, before the sinking lid policy does its thing. In other words, stop the glib bullshit.

  25. xtasy 25

    So dear ALL –

    with all righteous criticism, where does the Standard, and where do many posters actually stand? Are you going to stand up for the necessary “nationalisation” of casinos and other enterprises that have gone beyond control, that pose more danger than benefit for the nz economy?

    I would like to get some honest replies, rather than the usual petty congratulations for the odd Labour, Green and Mana comment here.

    Perhaps true policy needs a bit of a base, substance and a program to start with? Where is it then, rather than throw comments about? I hate National and ACT, but I see NO solution and sufficient argument from the LEFT!

    You are losing it, you are no hopers and bloody well need to wake up and take action, or else you wil be wiped off the political landscape.


  26. David 26

    More lies from Sky City and Nats people?

    This from TV3 News coverage of the casino debacle:

    Mr Key’s chief of staff is Wayne Eagleson – a close personal friend of SkyCity lobbyist Mark Unsworth and they have holidayed overseas together.

    Mr Unsworth told 3 News he has “had discussions from time to time [with Mr Eagleson] but I have no knowledge of either the proposal or the views of either side”.

    OK, Mr Unsworth: you are a professional Sky City lobbyist. Your job is to represent Sky City interests to the government. You have holidayed overseas with Wayne Eagleson, your close friend. You have “had discussions from time to time with Mr Eagleson”. But you have “NO KNOWLEDGE OF EITHER THE PROPOSAL OR OF THE VIEWS OF EITHER SIDE?”


    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/SkyCity-pokies-deal-causing-Key-more-angst/tabid/1607/articleID/250940/Default.aspx#ixzz1sPD6dJiL

  27. David 27


    June 2010: Wayne Eagleson (Key’s chief of staff) goes to Las Vegas with Mark Unsworth (Sky City Lobbyist).

    “The four have dropped “a ton” on blackjack, visited a gun shop where they could shoot an AK47 and dined at a restaurant on The Strip where 50g of caviar costs $500.

    The Herald on Sunday has been told Key has explicitly discouraged his ministers from publicly fraternising with lobbyists – but it seems this does not apply to Eagleson.

    Key is on holiday himself and did not return Herald on Sunday calls yesterday. But Lesley Hamilton, his spokeswoman, said he was aware of his chief of staff’s trip with the lobbyists.

    “Wayne Eagleson is on annual leave with a group of long-time friends in the United States.”

  28. David 28

    From the Herald article on Wayne Eagleson and Paul Unsworth in Las Vegas: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10650068

    “News of the trip comes from the Facebook updates of the normally discreet Unsworth.

    He wrote that the party engaged in “serious betting” on casino blackjack tables before hitting a bar famous for bartop-dancing waitresses.

    “It’s 12:30am Sowry just did a ton on the tables tonight but he’s well up, I am about 10 in front and as Wayne says that doesn’t count the free drinks or being able to smoke cigars inside with a Heinie as you bet.

    “We had a great night tonight and pushed on to Coyote Ugly and a duelling pianos bar where we all sang Bohemian Rhapsody.”

    The party is believed to have dined at the pricey Eiffel Tower restaurant where mains cost around $80 and 50g of caviar sets diners back $500. “Our most expensive meal, but great grub,” Unsworth said.

    The week-long holiday also included a helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon and a meal at an Italian restaurant in San Francisco, which Unsworth said came personally recommended by Key’s wife Bronagh.

    Unsworth is one of the founders of lobbying firm Saunders Unsworth and is regarded as one of the most influential backroom operators in Wellington.

    On its website, his firm takes credit for excluding clients from the costs of climate change policy, protecting the televised advertising of pharmaceuticals, and – somewhat appropriately – blocking tougher casino regulations.

  29. Kevin 29

    The statistics quoted about returns to charitable purposes are wrong. Sky City has to pay 2.5% of its profit to charity. Pub Charities have to pay a minimum of 37.12% of revenue. Sky City’s 2.5% of profit equates to .8% of Revenue. The other way to look at it is Pub Charities pay 100% of revenue and Sky City 2.5%. Lets get the numbers right.

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