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  3. History of the Licensing For Christchurch Casino

The establishment of a new entertainment business sector in Christchurch and throughout New Zealand was marked by the launch of the casino. The city of Christchurch welcomed its first casino guests sometime in 1994.

Christchurch has been a significant factor in bringing people back to the city and supporting the community and local businesses by providing an unrivaled experience that includes casual and upscale dining options, a casino filled with top pokies, and card games, and the best in entertainment.

Today, the Christchurch casino and entertainment center continues to contribute to the city’s development into a dynamic and exciting attraction for both residents of the area and visitors from further afield. Continue reading to learn more about the history of the license for the Christchurch Casino.

When Christchurch Casino First Got Its License

Christchurch Casino is authorized to conduct business under two separate licenses: a Casino Premises Licence granted in accordance with Section 31 of the Casino Control Act 1990 and a Casino Operator’s Licence granted in accordance with Section 37 of the same Act.

The casino has been operating since it first opened its doors on November 4th, 1994. It can be found in the Central Business District of Christchurch, which is located in New Zealand. This casino has been operating for a significant amount of time, making it the pioneer in New Zealand to request a license renewal.

At a meeting in 2019 in front of the New Zealand Gambling Commission, it was decided that if the venue’s license was renewed, new conditions would be added to it.

The criteria required a predetermined minimum yearly payment to an independent charitable trust managed by the casino, as well as the development of a new discretionary charity fund and the creation of a new community relations group.

Christchurch Casino License Renewed

Christchurch Casino must make a payment to its charitable trust of at least 2.5% of annual net profits or NZ$250,000, depending on which amount is higher, as stipulated by the terms of the new 15-year license. The casino has also agreed to a requirement that it will pay a total of one hundred thousand dollars per year to charities of its own choosing, in addition to the contributions based on a percentage of gross income. However, there is a prohibition on making payments to any organization that is connected with gaming. According to reports, the casino made an operating profit of NZ$16.1 million in 2017, of which 2.5%, or NZ$402,500, came from such profits.

The Gambling Commission was sent 74 submissions, of which four of the original senders participated in the hearing: The Problem Gambling Foundation, The Salvation Army, Christchurch City Council, and David Abbott. Sixty-four people thought the license should be renewed, seven thought it should not, and three had no opinion either way. Most of those who supported the motion were members of the staff, local companies, and beneficiaries of charity trusts.

Casino Impact Report

The consultants have coordinated the two primary facets of a Casino Impact Report, which are social and economic. They have produced a single Casino Impact Report as a consequence of their efforts. This report’s objective is to satisfy the applicable requirements of the legislation in connection to the application that Christchurch Casinos Limited has submitted in order to renew its casino venue license.

The economic analysis considered both the positive and negative effects that the casino has had on the local economy. Among the positive effects, the casino had a minimal effect on tourism, while the negative effect was that customers’ spending was diverted away from other local establishments.

On the other hand, the repercussions that result from gambler activity can be the ones that cause the most social unease, presuming that the total level of gambling stays the same. The lessons learned from the past indicate that it is possible that some of the patrons of the local casino would switch their gambling activity to other modes. The individuals who are most inclined to switch their gambling are those who have suffered losses as a result of their gaming.

Application for Confidentiality

The Gambling Commission confirmed that it had received the communication dated May 21st, 2018, and issued the following statement in response to the memorandum:

  • In paragraph 10 of that memorandum, the request is made to the Commission for confirmation that the Applicant Information Form, the Company Information Form, and the Personal Information Forms will not be made public. This request also includes requesting that the supporting compliance records not be made public. The confirmation was requested in section 135(1)(f) of the Gambling Act of 2003, and the reasons supporting the request were detailed in paragraph 11 of the memorandum.
  • The Commission agrees with the presented matters in a general sense. In addition, it acknowledges that there is currently no reasonable cause for the information to be made public. Still, it does not imply that this evaluation will not be subject to change in the future. As a result, it has come to an agreement that, for the time being only, it will make the information available only to the Police and the Government agencies from which it seeks reports and that it will not make the information available for public inspection in accordance with the Act without providing prior notice. This agreement is only valid for the time being.
  • The Commission plans to keep the subject of whether any of the information should be made accessible for examination by the public under consideration for the foreseeable future. In the event that it later comes to the provisional conclusion that any of the information should be made available to the public, the Commission has agreed to contact the company, on behalf of Christchurch Casinos Limited and the persons who have significant influence, prior to that information being released, to determine whether or not an agreement can be reached.

Read the full memorandum here.