There has been trend of increasing incidence of children abandoned at SkyCity Auckland over the last three years: 19 in 2009, 46 in 2010 and 54 in 2011.
These figures were provided to Fairfax Media by Internal Affairs under the Official Information Act.
In the latest incident 5 children whose ages ranged from 5 months to 8 years were allegedly found alone in a van in the SkyCity car park around 11am on a Sunday February 26. The parents of the children were in the Casino. They have been charged in connection with the incident and will appear in court in May.
The Statistics provided by Internal Affairs show that in the same 3 year period there have been:
- 20 assaults,
- 40 incidents of cheating,
- 15 of using counterfeit currency,
- 161 case of fraud, and 15 of loan sharking
- 23 incidences of breaching minimum operating standards,
- 265 trespasses by barred people
- 14 incidents of money laundering
SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison says Lotto does more harm to society than its Auckland casino.
He also says SkyCity’s desired increase in machines won’t result in more problem gambling, because Auckland’s public transport system makes getting to the casino problematic.
Professor Max Abbott, director of AUT University’s Gambling and Addictions Research Centre says claim that SkyCity poker machines are less harmful than Lotto tickets does not stack up.
“The most recent Ministry of Health, New Zealand Health Survey found 99.5 percent of problem gamblers participated in a form of gambling other than, or additional to, Lotto. Only 0.5 percent of problem gamblers engaged in Lotto alone,” he says.
“Furthermore, during the past two years, nearly 200 problem gamblers seeking help from the national gambling helpline (for the first time) reported that casino gaming machines were their primary gambling mode. A further 150 or so, said casino machines were their secondary mode. During this period only six people said they had a primary problem with Lotto and 21 said Lotto was secondary.”
“These facts and similar results for the 12,090 people who obtained specialist face-to-face problem gambling treatment services last year clearly indicate that casino pokies are a much greater health and social hazard than Lotto,” says Professor Abbott. “Very few weekly Lotto players have gambling problems. Nearly one in five weekly pokie players do.”
According to Professor Abbott, Morisson’s further claim that “those at risk were not casino customers but ‘mums in South Auckland’ who were shopping in communities where there were pokie machines at clubs and pubs” is also incorrect.
News category: New Zealand.