Does the NZ Herald have penis envy?



The Herald has marked the 20th anniversary of SkyCity with an editorial so gasping with its praise it comes across as a tad aroused.

I’m not a gambler. I don’t bet on horses or dogs or sport. I’ve played the odd pokie machine less than half a dozen times in my life and I buy the odd Lotto ticket here and there (as a Gen Xer, Lotto is your investment portfolio.), so gambling’s never been a thing that’s ever interested me, but I know people close to me for whom gambling is an addiction. For them, they will always need to find a place where they can scratch that itch.

The only reason we allow regulated gambling is because if we banned it, people would go underground to gamble and we would feed unlimited profits to organised crime.

As far as I am concerned, regulating gambling is something we as a society agree to with the reluctance of taking back criminals into our communities.

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It’s only because the other option is worse.

You can’t ban gambling, but by God you should put a stranglehold around their expansion and limit their social damage. 20 years of SkyCity has seen nothing but weak legislation watered down further by crony relationships with the current Government.

Beyond the restaurants and hotel and ‘entertainment hub’ is the grim reality that empire has been built upon misery.

  • SkyCity should be forced to pay their workers better.
  • SkyCity should be banned from advertising.
  • SkyCity should be forced to be far more transparent about their problem gambling programs.
  • SkyCity should be forced to pay a 20% vice tax on their profits. The money for which goes directly to problem gambling.
  • The problem gambling contract be moved back to the previous organisation running them who in turn have to prepare a critical report of SkyCity annually.

20 years of getting away with promoting a social curse as an exciting entertainment option is enough. Let’s crack down on the gambling industry and get them to pay more for the social damage they create.



  1. agreed; not only sly shitty.. but also all the bars ; we need accountability over the entire spend/plus all the monies distributed. Far too many opportunities for moneylaundering, no transperancy in the distribution of profits.. and far too many ‘hands in the way’ of distributing the proceeds. .. Then again, so does ‘slotto’,

  2. Is HSBC and Goldmen still the largest shareholder in Sky city group?

    Think they are

    I mean these guys where invented to rip workers off

    • I’m delighted to have just discovered tdb as I dip into my 500Mb Spark prepaid fone limit.

      What a lucid little piece on the Casino ecosystem! The place history will note The Manager (U ain’t not a leader John) and his fellow courtiers has chosen for one side of the TPP treaty to sign up their Pacific nation states. Sic transit gloria mundi. BTW, didn’t the good Dr Sharples sign his putea into the Casino on day one? Mm. Where is the integrity in that? Aue Aoteroa!

  3. Yes you can ban gambling, it’s no worse than banning weed. A major Gnat funder – all the more reason – drain the swamps where criminality breeds.

  4. The one good thing about SkyCity is that there is no booking fee when you buy bus tickets at their basement info centre. If you buy a ticket from the bus office around the corner on the ground floor you have to pay a 4 or $5 fee.
    I tried to enter the casino many years ago, but because I walk funny from disability, I was denied access. I don’t drink but idiot security thugs don’t respect/ acknowledge disabled people.

  5. ‘Let’s crack down on the gambling industry and get them to pay more for the social damage they create’.

    I completely agree with that statement.

    Gambling is such a tempting scourge on our society, especially on the common people, the less well off and the poor.

  6. Hang on, just switching from my banjo to this complicated keyboard thingy, ok, right. I’m fairly sure historically casino’s were mostly used for money laundering. Certainly this is true for Las Vegas (which of course was set-up by the Jewish-American mafia), and continues to this day.
    e.g for a recent example.
    Given that so much of a casino’s “sales” are cashed based, who’s to say how much of it comes from actual customers as opposed to illegal drug money, people smuggling, gun trafficking, terrorist organisations etc. Once the money is laundered it can be used for purchases, offshored etc without anyone raising an eyebrow. Are their severe protocols in place in NZ to make sure that doesn’t happen here – if that’s indeed even possible when so much of your supposed “revenue” is from literal cash?

    • Remember the Chinese painters and unemployed who put through $20 million a few years ago laundering drug money fortunately they got caught.

    • Wasn’t the US gambling empire of pro-Israel lobbyist Sheldon Adelson busted for laundering cartel drug money in Florida shortly before it turned out he was trying to mask his funding for opposition to decriminalisation in the very same state? Good illustration of the prevailing morality in that industry, I’d say.

  7. {Does the NZ Herald have penis envy?}

    You may be surprised to find that many of their journos don’t actually have penises at all!

    But penis envy may still exist, though.

  8. Pretty easy to be the best when you are the only and there’s legislation in place to ensure that it remains that way

  9. Yes it does!

    When they praise the biggest illegal money launderer in the country [Sky City casino] and for doing so receive free handouts / gifts from the National Party. That all hope for a caring society has been flushed down the sink.

  10. John Key is bringing the worst of America to NZ’s doorstep. Charter Schools, Private Prisons, US healthcare (thanks to TPPA), lower wages, destruction of unions, and out of control gambling addiction and drug abuse.

    It would be a terrible irony if Bernie Sanders got elected in America for a vision of a progressive country, that John Key and his supporters are determined to destroy in New Zealand.

  11. SkyCity should be banned from advertising.

    Advertising needs to be banned outright as it’s simply psychopathic manipulation of the people.

  12. Completely and utterly agree with you on nearly every point. And more of my own. But it’s not true the reason govt allows gambling is so its not underground. The Labour govt legalised it in late 1980’s to produce another revenue source after big sharemarket crash. And senior members in that govt admit still regretting that decision. The reason it’s allowed to go on is because the money put into lobbying is enormous and yes, they have powerful pals (John key, hello). There is so much underground illegal activity produced by legalised gambling. Reduction in illegal activity is why we have other legalised health hazards (like the methadone program, so little old ladies don’t get mugged and murdered on way home from pharmacy for their opiated and narcos), but not gambling. They let it in and are utterly addicted to the revenue, there’s no turning back.

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