In an effort to boost the economy, create jobs and attract more tourists, NZ Prime Minister John Key believes that New Zealand needs an international convention center with gaming tables and poker machines at its casino.
The Prime Minister announced plans for the 3500-seat centre in Auckland, which will cost SkyCity $350 million to build and announced that SkyCity had asked the government to change the laws covering its license to allow for more gaming tables and poker machines.
Without question, it is gambling expansion at the basic level, and the opposition was quick to respond by criticizing the government for putting laws “up for sale” and ignoring the social harm of increased gambling, charging that the drawbacks far outweigh economic benefits.
As the NZ Herald reports, NZ Prime Minister John Key fired back calling the criticism nonsense. Key said, “We’re constantly changing regulations and laws in relation to economic activity… We’ve had nine years of a Labour government which has been tying people up in red tape and stopping this country progressing…We are a government that wants to make progress in terms of economic development.”
Indeed the new complex if equipped with the gaming tables and poker machines will have a trickle down effect on the surrounding economy.
It will immediately make Aukland a place that gamblers and tourists are more likely to flock to and as the Hotel Council also stated as reported by the NZ Herald, “The Hotel Council said an international centre would be a huge boost for the conference and exhibition sector…With an estimated increase of over 100,000 visitor nights, Auckland hotels certainly stand to benefit from this long-awaited development…There will also be spin-off opportunities for the wider tourism industry as New Zealand becomes known as an international conference and exhibitions destination.”