SkyCity Hamilton Casino - Application for 60 additional pokie machines

Due date
Friday 17 May, 2019
SkyCity Hamilton Casino - Application for 60 additional pokie machines

Have your say on SkyCity's application for 60 additional pokie machines at the SkyCity Hamilton Casino. Submissions close 17 May 2019.

- The Gambling Commission has Consultation Guidelines along with flexibility as to whom they deem to be an “interested party”, and submission processes they wish to use. 

 - After receiving SkyCity’s application, the Gambling Commission initially only formally notified four “interested parties” to seek feedback or submissions, namely; Ministry of Health, Hamilton City Council, Salvation Army and lastly PGF Group (the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand is now trading as PGF Group).

 - The initial timeframe for the “interested parties” to provide submissions was just over a month. This period of time was during the Christmas holiday period. 

 - The initial submission process was a closed process (ie. written submissions only) with no opportunities for wider public consultation and oral submissions would not be available. 

 - The applicant (SkyCity) is able to provide rebuttals to the Gambling Commission to any of the comments made in the written submissions received. 

 - Concerns were raised with the Gambling Commission regarding the initial timeframe for written submissions, the lack of public consultation (given the considerable public interest) and the lack of a public submission process which should include oral submissions. 

 - All four “interested parties” indicated opposing SkyCity’s application.

 - The Gambling Commission notified all four “interested parties” that the close off for written submissions would be extended for a month to mid February 2019.

 - Hamilton City Council voted to formally oppose SkyCity’s application and approved funding of $150,000 to resource their opposition and engage lawyers.

 - The Gambling Commission notified the four “interested parties” that the close off for written submissions was postponed to an undefined date. 

- A later notification was sent to the “interested parties” that due to public interest an open public submission process would be held. Written submissions were sought and any submitters wishing to speak in person would need to submit a second submission to the Gambling Commission. 

- It is not known whether the Gambling Commission formally notified the wider public including any Māori organisations, hapū or iwi regarding SkyCity’s application along with the submission process that would be used. 

- The Gambling Act 2003 provides clear direction for Territorial Local Authorities to inform organisations representing Māori when reviewing gambling venue policies and a special consultative procedure is being used. However no such formal requirement is prescribed for the Gambling Commission to follow regarding Māori inclusion, engagement and participation. 

- The Gambling Commission has not directed that submissions must be written in English. Feel free to write your submissions in your preferred language. Eg. Māori, Samoan, Tongan, Cantonese etc. 

 - The Gambling Commission have indicated that the outcome from this could set a precedent for other casinos around the country. 

 - This is not a local (Hamilton) issue, it is a national issue. 

 - Pokies are the most harmful type of gambling in our country.  


PGF Group have developed resources to support organisations, services, individuals, whānau, marae, hapū, and iwi to provide submissions regarding this application.

The close off date for submissions is 17 May 2019. 


Have your say

1. Click on this find a drop box link to access resources and if you wish to make an online submission check out the Resources links below.

2. Write a submission either as an individual or on behalf of your whānau.

3. Share this information with others by speaking with your whānau, friends, colleagues and leaders in your communities. Consider using social media and media also. 

4. Challenge them to a call to action and encourage them to write their own submissions.

5. If you believe that the Gambling Commission should have notified the wider public eg. Māori, Iwi, hapū, Māori organisations and others (eg. Pasifika communities and other interested parties) and you require more time to provide submissions, please contact the Gambling Commission URGENTLY with your concerns and your request.


Submissions close this Friday 17 May 2019



This find a drop box link contains fact sheets, a submission form, and various images and videos that can be used and shared on social media.

Included you will find three fact sheets with information on have your say, why are pokies so harmful, and the psychology of casinos and other information, plus a printable submission form; and images and videos for social media.  

 PGF have also created an Oppose Pokie Plans webpage on our website that contains much of this information (including downloadable versions of the fact sheet) and an online submission form.

Any submissions completed online will be sent to PGF, and we will submit it to the Gambling Commission on your behalf.

If you need more information you can also visit the Gambling Commission website.


Written submissions are due on Friday 17 May 2019.