SkyCity’s recent deal with the New Zealand government has been met with a wide range of responses. While most residents feel that adding 500 new poker machines is harmful to the community, others note that a new convention centre will be beneficial to the city at large.
Another point of contention is the disagreement over whether or not SkyCity should be required to pay more taxes for its new poker machines. The general public and local political groups are under the impression that it is the company’s responsibility to do so, in order to benefit potential problem gamblers. SkyCity has other ideas, however.
According to CEO Nigel Morrison, SkyCity does not have to pay more levies to help problem gamblers. While his opinion may be justified, his comments came off as arrogant and condescending. The Greens believe that he is simply making excuses to get out of paying more for his new pokies.
Recent reports have shown that each new poker machine will generate about $50 000 in wagers every year, taking more money out of gamblers’ pockets. So, it does not seem entirely unreasonable to request that the casino operator pay a bit more in taxes. However, Morrison and SkyCity will not be easily swayed.