Hamilton City Council has set aside $150,000 to fight SkyCity over its application to add 60 more pokie machines to the central city casino.

The council today voted 8-1 to put forward a submission to the Gambling Commission opposing SkyCity Hamilton's application.

The council will engage law firm Tompkins Wake and any other lawyers needed to put together and present the submission on the council's behalf.

The spend of up to $150,000 will be funded from an existing budget in the Mayor's Office.


Council chief executive Richard Briggs will also approach other parties to see if they would cover up to half the cost of the submission.

Hamilton Mayor Andrew King said he was strongly opposed to letting any more of the "addictive gaming machines" in.

"It would be completely irresponsible for this council to allow SkyCity an additional 60 slot machines – this would take their total up to 399 machines.

"It is well known how addictive these pokies are and we have a responsibility to take care of the vulnerable parts of our community. Hamiltonians don't win here. The only winner is SkyCity and their bottom line".

SkyCity general manager of communications Colin Espiner said the company was already aware of the council's stance and welcomed the opportunity for everyone to have their say at the public hearing.

"We don't believe that our proposal increases opportunities to gamble at the casino as we are proposing to remove more than the equivalent number of player spaces from our blackjack tables.

"As to the Mayor's remarks about who benefits, I'd just point out that our proposal is in response to customer demand, and that SkyCity has - and continues to - invest many millions of dollars into the city."

Should SkyCity be given the go-ahead to add the machines, Espiner said any additional revenue would be invested back into the precinct.


Councillor Garry Mallett opposed the move.

Councillors Geoff Taylor, Mark Bunting and Siggi Henry declared a conflict and did not participate in the discussion. Councillor Paula Southgate was absent.