New Zealand election outcome uncertain for gaming operations

    New Zealand’s gaming laws may be amended if there is a change of government in New Zealand’s general election on Saturday 20 September.The main opposition Labour Party is promising to give local communities more say over the number of gaming machines allowed in their area. Their likely coalition partner, the Green Party, would go much further and would restrict all forms of gaming generally.The Greens have previously threatened to cancel a controversial arrangement between the current National Party-led government and casino operator Sky City Entertainment Ltd which is paying to build a convention centre in central Auckland in return for getting more tables and gaming machines and other concessions.A change of government seemed unlikely a few months ago, but the election campaign has been dominated by the fallout of the content of emails stolen from the website of Whaleoil, a controversial right-wing blogger.The emails have been published as a book, Dirty Politics by left wing writer Nicky Hagar and implicate the National Party in a longstanding and secret dirty tricks campaign against opponents and involving that blogger.One Cabinet Minister has had to resign as a direct result. The National Party is still leading in the polls but is less assured of a clear victory than previously.Labour is promising a “comprehensive review of gaming laws and policy” to prevent “harm” to the community.