Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: SpinCity

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Eediot,

    Does anyone know exactly where this will be located? I read conjecture about the TVNZ site being required and TVNZ knowing nothing about it but this seems unlikely surely.

    It seems unlikely. But TVNZ's building was on the table long before the TVNZ board read about it in the paper.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Tim Darlington,

    Public transport, education, healthcare, sewers, that kind of thing.

    I don't see how facilitating people to practice holding a plate and a glass of cheap wine one-handed while swapping business cards is essential infrastructure.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Doyle,

    I am appalled. The damage casinos do to our society is immense. The fact that a government can do this is beyond belief.
    New Zealand is truly for sale.

    Stillwater • Since Nov 2011 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Swan,

    I see. So we had an arms length authority to deal with casino licensing etc, and Labour politicised it.

    Birkenhead • Since Feb 2011 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Ross Mason,

    An additional 40 gaming tables (based on current average opportunities to game), together with a further 12 gaming tables with the ability, in respect of each of those 12 gaming tables, to substitute each table for the right to operate 20 fully Automated Table Game Player Stations (but which are not substitutable for Single Terminal Gaming Machines) per table;(My Bold)

    sounds like a table with say 20 stations playing each other (and the house) - basically 12 sets of 20 blackjack, or poker, or bingo machines - so yes another 240 gambling machines being quietly slipped in under the radar by pretending that they are 1 machine with 20 terminals

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2606 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Nimmo, in reply to Swan,

    Perhaps because casino licensing is a moral/social issue and the public often likes to have some chance of influencing such matters?

    Wellington • Since May 2009 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Maybe 230 is the level at which you get a good bulk purchasing discount? Or that will fit in a certain area of casino floor that will be made available?

    Joyce has now confirmed in interviews that the 230 is a negotiated figure, not a logistical one. Even claimed credit for talking it down to that entirely coincidental number.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Listening to the NatRad replay on the affair, Prostetnic Vogon Joyce resorted to insisting black is white when he claimed future Govts are liable to compensate SkyCity if they tear up the deal. When Mary Wilson asked him for an actual real life example, he changed the subject.

    Mai Chen subsequently called bullshit on the liability clause, saying compensation can only happen with 75% Parliamentary entrenchment.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Richard Aston,

    New Zealand Foist...

    I think there is a need for a large convention centre. I went to a conference recently , 400 people from NZ , Sky City was the only conference center in NZ they could get that could deal with that number.

    3,500 is a looong way from 400, though... how often are they going to use the full capacity, or will it mostly be sitting idle...
    Meanwhile their licence to operate a casino has had 24 odd years added to it, what revenue does the Government make from the operation annually - just tax on profits? Or is there some other levy that makes them a worthwhile industry to foist on the populace?
    Better than fully owning good earning power companies say....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    Just out of interest, here is the link to an Australian study that suggests ~ 40% of pokie revenue comes from gambling addicts, even though they form only a small percentage of the gambling population. This appears to be the study used by the Problem Gambling Foundation.

    http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/95691/08-chapter5.pdf

    Fascinating discussion here, and great post, Russell. I agree that the parties' responses are different, and I'm appalled at the deal with SkyCity.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 258 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Mai Chen subsequently called bullshit on the liability clause, saying compensation can only happen with 75% Parliamentary entrenchment.

    And she may be right, but I wish National Radio would find a "constitutional expert" whose name isn't above the door of a firm of lawyers with a long roster of public sector clients and a sideline in "government relations" (i.e. lobbying).

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Listening to the NatRad replay on the affair, Prostetnic Vogon Joyce resorted to insisting black is white when he claimed future Govts are liable to compensate SkyCity if they tear up the deal. When Mary Wilson asked him for an actual real life example, he changed the subject.

    "Give me a real example of this."

    "I'll give you a theoretical example."

    Farcical.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Joyce has now confirmed in interviews that the 230 is a negotiated figure

    Last night Mary Wilson had an interesting interview with the Aussie dude who heads Sky City. 230 was a political number, symbolically no more than the number agreed under the Clark government. However, it was clear that the real prize from Sky Citys POV was the extension of the license. He also hinted there may be a guarantee that no one else will operate a casino in Auckland. So 25+ years of monopoly control of gambling in Auckland is what Sky City really wanted, and got.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2212 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    appall hangs over this…

    “I’ll give you a theoretical example.”

    He actually said ‘hypothetical’ – but I spat my tea across the room nonetheless.
    (Joyce is strong on hype but weak on theory...)
    Listen here: Steven Joyce puts the boot into Ak Rail Loop and Greens, just because he can – while avoiding answering question – text book stuff for these cowboys…

    A fine example of dodgy Gov’t (or SOE) dealings with the private sector, would be the sell back / leasing of the South Island power grid to foreign interests for 100 years

    I’d also like to know a little more about those SOE power company asset swaps a few years back – now that a MRP is only half owned by the Country yet it has assets from other power SOEs for at least 15 years… will they give them back? And who was stocking MRP’s larder before selling it off?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The Herald editorial seems to get it

    The deal includes, first, a predictive modelling tool that analyses data to identify players at risk of problem gambling. To be of use, that will have to be acted on effectively. Secondly, under a voluntary pre-commitment system, pokie players can elect to restrict the amount of time they play or the amount they spend.

    Voluntary action, however, runs counter to the very essence of an addiction. Thirdly, SkyCity will double the number of "host responsibility" specialists. Finally, player identification will be required when buying tickets with a value of more than $500 in non-restricted areas.

    In sum, this not a compelling harm minimisation package. It might aid the identification of problem gamblers, but it places a heavy reliance on SkyCity staff responding appropriately. That is not an altogether reassuring scenario.

    Quite. Considering the gambler I referred to above isn't banned from SkyCity, despite ruining their life and damaging many others there. It's quite incredible, really. You don't need special predictive modelling tools to spot people who have already revealed themselves as having a gambling problem in the worst possibly way.

    It's such bullshit lip-service. Everyone can see that the casino doesn't want to minimize problem gambling - that's totally contra to their interests, a huge slice of the profits come from problem gamblers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    all hail our betters...

    ...to spot people who have already revealed themselves as having a gambling problem in the worst possibly way.

    John Key does seem to sweat alot, maybe he's worried the country will notice he is gaming the system and gambling away our country's future, for a short term return?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Call their bluff, says Danyl.

    How about stringent pro-worker labour laws where trade unions get paid massive compensations if a subsequent government changes them? Or environmental policies with multi-billion dollar pay-outs to Greenpeace if a future National government wants to open new coal mines or offshore oil platforms?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac,

    Thank goodness there is serious discussion/information here. Mai Chen is right but this Government seems able to just trash the existing laws and plow on regardless untouched by human hands.
    I despise the line that "this Government publicised the plan before the election, they won so they have a mandate. Eat that!"

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    She's a fairly respected expert. Try finding one who *hasn't* had an interested party as a client (legal academics, I guess). Also, it's a clear and ancient principle of parliamentary sovereignty that a government can't bind its successors.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    She’s a fairly respected expert. Try finding one who *hasn’t* had an interested party as a client (legal academics, I guess).

    Quite. Lawyers have clients in their areas of expertise. I can't even see where there's a relevant conflict, tbh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Doyle, in reply to BenWilson,

    It's like drinking and driving, and giving the drinker the OK to drive as long as they feel up to it. "Yep, despite 12 whiskies, a bottle of red, n a couple of beers, I'm fine"

    Stillwater • Since Nov 2011 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Stephen Doyle,

    Yes, good analogy. If you get caught drinking and driving you lose your right to drive for a time. No such thing happens with disastrous life-wrecking gambling.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Stephen Doyle,

    Or like relying on the landlord to enforce liquor laws, but then saying we'll only review your licence in 35 years.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Bars will kick out people who are too intoxicated. But the casino will only kick you out when you are actually cleaned out. Or if you win too much.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Shaw, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    Errrr, maybe a bit premature...
    Premature 400 PPM fail-a-bration
    http://tinyurl.com/c33wq4f
    -P.

    Eden Terrace • Since Nov 2006 • 2 posts Report Reply

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