Asians speak up against casino deal

NZ Herald 3 September 2013  
More Asian people will lose their jobs and businesses if the SkyCity convention centre deal goes ahead, MPs have been told.

A stream of Asian community groups spoke against the deal yesterday when select committee hearings opened on the NZ International Convention Centre Bill, which allows SkyCity 230 extra poker machines, 52 extra gaming tables and an extension of its licence until 2048 in return for building a $400 million convention centre.

The Auckland Council also opposed the bill, but it was supported by the Heart of the City business lobby and by the Catholic Church’s Auckland Diocese Justice and Peace Commission because of the extra jobs it will create.

Problem gambling counsellor Donghwan (Gus) Lim of the Korean Community Wellness Society said Asian people made up only 9 per cent of the population but 64 per cent of problem gamblers who were excluded, or excluded themselves, from the casino in the six months to June last year.

“There are so many Asian people disproportionately getting harmed by SkyCity,” he said.