SkyCity wins both ways by providing the extra car parks. Not only will it get extra money from parking fees but it will also gain extra revenue from freeing parking that will allow more people to play pokies at peak times.
The parking concessions given to SkyCity for funding an international convention centre have been undervalued, Green Party gambling spokesperson Denise Roche said today.
The deal between the Government and SkyCity casino means that SkyCity gains a significant number of gambling related concessions in return for funding an international convention centre. Under the deal, SkyCity is able to gain hundreds more car parks. Today Forsyth Barr Research director Jeremy Simpson pointed out that before the deal with the Government SkyCity was constrained at peak times by parking shortages.
“SkyCity is constrained from fleecing the public of Auckland at peak times due to parking shortages,” said Ms Roche.
“SkyCity will be able to get around this due to the extra car parking allowed for in its deal over the convention centre.
“SkyCity currently has 1,960 carparks. Legislation will allow for at least 780 more carparks.
“SkyCity wins both ways by providing the extra car parks. Not only will it get extra money from parking fees but it will also gain extra revenue from freeing parking that will allow more people to play pokies at peak times.
“Parking fees and additional gambling bring in millions of dollars a year in profits for SkyCity. The extra revenue it gets is yet another example of how the Government has given SkyCity a sweetheart deal.
“The extra profits for SkyCity will come at a high cost for the rest of the community,” Ms Roche said.
“The extra social harm from the increased gambling opportunities pushed through by National will include more crime, child abuse, mental illness, family breakups, hospital admissions and suicide.”
The Green Party intends to reduce the harm caused by pokies in casinos like SkyCity through a package of harm minimisation measures including mandatory pre-commitment cards and restricting direct advertising.