Casino should pay more to the community – council

More funding and better support for the community is what the city council wants from the Christchurch Casino.

On Thursday the city council confirmed its submission to the Gambling Commission for the 15-year venue licence application renewal.

While the draft submission neither supports nor opposes the application, it is vying for “changes to the conditions” of the licence.

The draft submission, signed by Mayor Lianne Dalziel, wants the casino to fund a formal community liaison group, which would be made up by representatives from
the council, police, social services, Ngai Tuahuriri and problem gambling treatment providers.

The city council also wants the casino to put more money back into its charitable trust.

On average, the casino contributes $141,000 per year to the trust, while making an operating profit of $16.1 million last year.

“The council believe this funding is not a sufficient return to the community when considering the impacts of problem gambling on the community,” the submission said.

It would see the funding increased to $225,000 per year, as well as have a city council representative on the charitable trust to help allocate the money.

The submission said
the city has a higher proportion of people seeking problem gambling help than nationally.

“The council has serious concerns about the potential and actual harm to our citizens from problem gambling.”

It said the casino has a “key role” in avoiding the “inevitable negative effects” of problem gambling.