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Monday, June 13

Public policy on gambling should not be for sale

John Key is setting up people with gambling addictions, and their families and communities, to foot the bill for the new Auckland Convention Centre, said the Green Party today.

"The profits that Sky City believes it can extract from vulnerable gamblers are obviously immense to make it worthwhile for them to build the centre," said Green Party Spokesperson on Gambling Kevin Hague.

"This 'public policy for sale' approach by the Government is strongly reminiscent of its rush to change industrial relations law to suit another multinational corporate, Warner Brothers.

"I predict that the 'behind closed doors' negotiations between the Government and Sky City will find ways of allowing Sky City to extract more profit from the New Zealand public without needing to change the law, thereby entirely shutting the public out from having a say."

Mr Hague said that the extraordinary hardship and suffering caused by the gambling industry in New Zealand should see the Government trying to find ways of reducing the size and reach of the industry, not cosying up to it and making the regulatory framework looser.