SkyCity is the casino in Auckland. It is situated in the Sky Tower in the centre of the city. Auckland wants a new convention centre and SkyCity has offered to build it, opposite SkyCity with an overhead walkway between the two buildings. It will seat 3,500 people and cost $350m. This means that Auckland rate payers will not have to pay for the new building.
SkyCity says that a new convention centre will provide jobs and will bring visitors to the city in winter as well as summer. Visitors who attend conferences are usually people who spend a lot of money in the city. They often bring a spouse or partner with them.
However, in return for building a new convention centre, SkyCity wants 500 more gaming machines – pokies. It already has more than 1600 pokie machines.
Pubs and clubs which have pokie machines have to give back 37% of their profits to the community. However, SkyCity gives back only 2.5% of their profits from pokie machines although it does also sponsor some community events.
A spokesperson for Problem Gambling Foundation says there are eight gambling addicts for every 10 machines. The more gaming machines there are, the more addicts. Over 70% of people who go to the Problem Gambling Foundation for help are addicted to pokies. Forty percent of the money lost on pokies is lost by people with a gambling problem.
convention – conference, formal meeting
spouse – husband or wife
spokesperson – person who can speak about the organisation e.g. chairman
addict – first syllable is stressed in the noun; 2nd syllable is stressed in the verb. Note: passive verb – is addicted, are addicted.
in return for…
the more gaming machines (there are), the more addicts.