Gambling Down Under

A Sky City Casino, Auckland New Zealand Trip Report

Posted by Sleazy Red

At the back of the tables is the "pokies" which upon seeing them I immediately realised means slot machines. My work friends happily queued up at the cashiers, got a couple of handfuls of 5 cent coins and were off to find their favourite machines. I approached the cage to get Chuckmonster his unspoilt $25 NZ Dollar chip. No luck. They don't actually dish out the chips at the cage you can only get them from the tables.

The Pokies!

I wandered back to find my friends who are busy stuffing 5c pieces into Zorro themed pokies they seemed to prefer the TV show themed slots where you get to chose lines between 2 and 12 they have them in pretty much every Casino in Vegas. I flatly refused to stuff any money into these machines, 5 cents or not. I was on a mission to get a damn chip!

I approached an empty blackjack table and asked if I could buy a $25 NZ dollar chip but that I didn't actually want to play any cards. The dealer and the Pit Boss stood next to him looked at me like I was strange I didn't think it's the accent this time; "Let me get this right. You want to give us $25 for a chip but not actually play with it?! Sure!" He laughs. I explained that the chip was for a friend back in California who collects casino chips he has them all beautifully framed I added. This changed everything. The Pitt Boss and the dealer spent the next ten minutes searching for a suitable chip one that looked nice enough to be mounted on the VT office walls. Ten minutes later they produced a slightly worn chip they were sorry but it was the best they could do they even searched other tables. They pointed out to me the chip face is of One Tree Hill a 182 metre volcanic peak, which actually no longer has a tree on the summit anymore.

The Casino

I thanked them and asked them about the drinks policy in the casino. The dealer (whose name I sadly forget) explained that there are no free drinks here (probably would be seen as unethical the kiwi's are a right on liberal bunch) but gamblers spending over $100 NZ get free tea and coffee! I had to chuckle to myself at that. Gambling at the SkyTower does have some benefits if you sign up for an Action card which requires two forms of identification on which you collect points each time you gamble - every $10 you play gets you 2.5 Action points. Points can then be redeemed from a range of merchandise including alcohol, appliances, apparel, and confectionery or in the tower's bars and restaurants on food and drinks.

The lasting impression I got was the whole place was a little seedy and rundown in the same way downtown Vegas is but without the historic charm. I'm glad I didn't gamble even just on the pokies because my money would have been much better spent trying to find some damn hobbits and infamous NZ greenery!

Obligatory carpet shot

Links: - SkyTower
One Tree Hill - Wikipedia

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