The Herald reports:
The Department of Internal Affairs has warned the Government that extra pokie machines at SkyCity, resulting from its convention centre deal, risks increased harm to the community, Steven Joyce confirmed yesterday.
Gambling opponents cite research suggesting the extra 230 pokie machines alone could cost society as much as $6.6 million a year. But with the Government touting a $90 million annual boost to the Auckland economy from the international convention centre, Cabinet “decided on balance that it was best to go with the deal”, Economic Development Minister Mr Joyce said.
That’s a 13:1 benefit to cost ratio. Not even close to marginal.
Costs at a glance
230 extra pokie machines at SkyCity
184 extra problem gamblers
$36,000 a year’s potential cost to society of each problem gambler
$6.6m total annual cost to society of additional problem gamblers
$90m annual injection into the economy from the international convention centre
They loo pretty good numbers to me. 800 more people in jobs.