Problem Gambling Foundation calling for immediate closure of SkyCity Diamond Lounge
The Problem Gambling Foundation is calling for the immediate closure of SkyCity’s Diamond Lounge smoking area after a
High Court Judge ruled that the area must be reconsidered to ensure it complies with the Smoke-free Environments Act.
Justice Rodney Hansen found that the Ministry of Health’s calculator which was used to determine whether the Diamond
Lounge was an ‘open area’ conflicted with the intention of the Act.
Graeme Ramsey, Problem Gambling Foundation CEO, says it is a great outcome as the Foundation has real concern over
SkyCity’s continued push for building more smoking areas.
“Allowing people to use pokie machines while smoking is simply a move to keep people at the machines for as long as
possible,” he says.
“The one thing that can help get a ‘break in play’ on pokie machines is the need to go outside for a cigarette. That can
be enough for a gambler to reflect on what they are doing and how much time and money they have spent.”
Graeme Ramsey says the ruling has made it quite clear that the Ministry of Health and the Auckland Regional Public
Health Service must reconsider the SkyCity Diamond Lounge smoking area.
“The open areas calculator that was used to assess the Diamond Lounge has been deemed to be inconsistent with the
statutory definition of an open area under the Act,” he says.
“Given this, SkyCity should close it now and we hope that this ruling will squash SkyCity’s push to expand smoking areas
inside the casino.”
The Cancer Society, Salvation Army and the Problem Gambling Foundation sought a judicial review in August.