OPINION: When I donated money for the rebuilding of the Southland Stadium it was on the condition that the ILT removed their signs that were plastered all over. They took most of them away.
Now under a new contract they have with the stadium they can put more signs up, many more than before, bigger and expensive. I complained about this and was told that the new advertising signs weren't paid for by funds from their poker machines but from their business.
There are recent advertisements in your paper showing how much the ILT poker machines give away for three months. Along with $2000 for Southland Music Association there was $150,000 for Southland Stadium. So there is money in the stadium from the poker machines. On the face of it, it appears that the ILT have paid the Southland Stadium $150,000 more to have the building named after them.
I wouldn't be surprised if the ILT stock Southland Stadium with booze and poker machines. Their poker machines are ruining Invercargill so a campaign is going to be undertaken to divest the ILT of the poker machines.
If they cannot be banned altogether from Invercargill then the city council could take them over and the net $20,000 million funds that the poker machines produce will go into council funds and they can spend it on reduced rates, council expenses and some worthy charitable situations.
ILT general manager Greg Mulvey replied:
Mr Crimp has previously raised issues about ILT signs. We are absolutely confident that we have strictly complied with the agreement reached between him and the stadium trust about naming rights and signage, and he has no justifiable complaint.
Money from gaming machines in ILT premises is distributed by the ILT Foundation, which gives $150,000 annually (alongside grants from other local community funders) to defray annual operating expenses and as a result keep public hire and usage fees at low rates.
Such grants are made annually, are unconditional, and have nothing to do with the naming rights purchased by ILT.