Gaming continues to be an issue that is highly divisive among people, especially in situations where it becomes regulated or when there are plans to build a new gaming establishment.
New Zealand is no different in that regard and that can be seen in the reactions to that country’s government giving the green light for 510 extra gaming machines and tables to be put in place in the proposed SkyCity Convention Centre.
While there has been some support for the initiative, it also has its fair share of domestic opposition. Among those making their voices heard has been the country’s left wing Green Party, which has undertaken an innovative and creative way of protesting their opposition to the gaming plans.
The party has constructed a makeshift casino of its own in the main square of New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, made entirely of cardboard. That’s right, cardboard.
The cardboard casino consists of 230 imitation poker machines, 240 automated player stations, and 40 gambling tables, which are the amount of facilities that would be allowed in the convention centre once it’s completed. It appears to be quite a sight and takes up a substantial chunk of Aotea Square, which is exactly the point the party has been trying to put across.
Green Party co-leader Meteria Turei said that the gaming facilities that the government would allow at the proposed convention centre would essentially amount to an entire new casino in the city of Auckland.
“The 510 additional gambling machines and tables gifted to SkyCity would be, on their own, the third-largest casino in New Zealand,” Turei said. “That’s a casino which wouldn’t exist without this deal.”
The extra gaming facilities at the proposed centre came as part of a deal between the New Zealand government and casino company SkyCity. The company already operates the largest casino in the country and the convention centre will likely be located in the same complex.
Among the main reasons for the opposition to the extra gaming facilities is the perceived potential for “problem gambling.” While that is always something that needs to be carefully considered, the fact these new facilities will be located on the same complex as an already existing casino may lower that potential.
If it was part of a whole new casino in another part of the city, the potential may very well be major as it could give ‘problem gamblers’ easier access and more variety to choose from. However, that is likely to not be the case in this situation.
Still though, the protest is certainly eye-catching and attention grabbing and should help the party in getting its point across. According to stuff.co.nz, the cardboard casino will be presented to the government in the New Zealand capital, Wellington, after spending the day in Aotea Square.