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City Councils chasing gambling dollars

01/12/2008

City Councils chasing gambling dollars

A number of large cities in New Zealand are going to be reviewing their gambling policies over the next few months.

Dunedin, and possibly Auckland way review them well before they are legally obligated to.

Have they been conned by the pokie machine industry to review them early?

The pokie industry, which mainly makes its money from problem gamblers, is desperately telling councils that their sinking lid policies are hurting community funding through reduced grants. But this is patently untrue, and in some cities where these policies have been brought in, funding continues to increase.

Councils who continue to support pokie funding as a legitimate form of community funding are trading on people's misery and misfortune

For every $1 given to the community a gambler has lost $3. The machines are predominantly placed in poor areas, and in New Zealand it is estimated there are between 10,000 and 60,000 problem gamblers.

Some cities, such as Manukau and Christchurch have taken strong moral leadership overt this issue, and have brought in sinking lid policies.

Waitakere is proposing the same, so the question is will these other cities succumb to the pokie industry's spin and go for the easy dollars, or will they do the right thing by their citizens?


ENDS

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