SkyCity wanted taxpayers to pay for advertising

SkyCity asked for taxpayers to pay for the marketing and promotion of the international convention centre.

The Auditor-General’s report into the Government’s handling of the SkyCity deal revealed the promotional incentive was sought by the casino in September 2010. However, the Government has ruled out the annual payment.

The 2009 feasibility study into the convention centre raised the likelihood of a “subvention fee”, saying “a new venue would need a sufficient sales and marketing budget to develop appropriate subvention policies to attract conferences”.

It added: “Subvention [incentive] policies recognise the economic value of conferences to host destinations.”

The negotiators for the casino also wanted the Government to buy land owned by TVNZ after the size of the planned convention centre expanded in line with the Prime Minister’s demand they “think outside the box”.

A 1999 National Survey in New Zealand  showed that  New Zealand Catholics reported a higher average weekly gambling expenditure than other religious groups. The survey carried out by Abbott and Volberg noted that Protestant denomination historically have a strong moral stance against gambling and lobbied for legislative and other restrictions on gambling throughout the mid 19th and 20th centuries.

The same survey reported that half the problem gamblers were of Maori, Pacific or Asian ethnicity.


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News category: New Zealand.

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