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Gambling and crime links

An interesting news item appeared in the ‘Herald on Sunday’ (14/5/06) reporting that Wellington lobbyist firm Saunders Unsworth, in its “skite-bag” highlights that it ‘facilitated….retaining the casino regulatory regime, “in the face of several populist assaults launched by interest groups and politicians”’. That means that the gambling industry paid big bucks (as we always suspected) to lobby the Labour Government to keep the basic structure of gambling in NZ intact, and we think particularly to keep control over the distribution of funds collected for ‘community purposes’ from gamblers’ losses.

Below are the last week’s news listings off the GamblingWatch website (most covering connections with crime and gambling – ‘control’ +click on ‘more’ for full stories), and a link to a very interesting media release from the Problem Gambling Foundation on the same issue:

Government not safe from gambling [16.05.06]
“Gambling-related crime can affect anyone, and any employer – including government departments,” says David Coom, South Island Regional Manager for the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF). more

Mother who left baby locked in car now admits to crime
Posted On: Tuesday, 16 May 2006
[By TANYA KATTERNS, Dominion Post] A Masterton woman who originally denied endangering her baby's life is now prepared to admit to the crime after a plea bargain. Josephine Ann Puhara's 11-month-old daughter was left locked in a car in... more...

Woman held by throat
Posted On: Tuesday, 16 May 2006
[The Press] A woman was held by the throat and left injured by her flatmate after he told her he had spent their rent money at the Christchurch Casino. The flatmate, Glen Warren Levy, 28, a Motueka fisherman, is in custody awaiting sentence.... more...

Man admits strangling flatmate
Posted On: Tuesday, 16 May 2006
[NZPA] A woman was strangled or beaten unconscious by her male flatmate after he told her he had spent all their rent money at the Christchurch Casino. The flatmate, Glen Warren Levy, 28, a Motueka fisherman, is now in custody awaiting sentence... more...

To Live Our Parents' Dream
Posted On: Monday, 15 May 2006
[NZ Herald] But some have been sidetracked from the privileged tasks their parents sent them here for - to study, enjoy New Zealand and get a head start. They choose to live the high life: gambling, smoking and buying fancy sports cars with... more...

MWS 'able to pay' former counsellor
Posted On: Monday, 15 May 2006
[By DAVID COSGRIFF, The Southland Times] Murihiku Whanau Services (MWS) had money to pay out a former counsellor of its defunct gambling service, trustee Dion Williams said. MWS closed the service and made the worker redundant shortly after... more...

Scots gamble £7.5bn in betting epidemic
Posted On: Saturday, 13 May 2006
STEPHEN MCGINTY - The Scotsman - 13 May 2006 GAMBLING in Scotland has hit record levels, with the average adult now spending almost £1,900 a year on games of chance - three times as much as four years ago. Research has found that Scotland... more...

Police applaud as life of Rielly comes unstuck
Posted On: Thursday, 11 May 2006
[By LYN HUMPHREYS, Taranaki Daily News] A New Plymouth conman with 170 convictions was sent to jail yesterday and no one was happier than the local police. They applauded a successful Taranaki Daily News application to photograph Stephen Rielly... more...

Cannabis kingpin fights to keep 'gambling' cash
Posted On: Wednesday, 10 May 2006
[Dominion Post] A cannabis dealer who ran a million-dollar business from a Porirua suburb while sometimes on a sickness benefit is fighting to keep $275,000 he had in the bank. Michael Anaru, 52, admitted that $236,000 found by police at his... more...

Pensioner murder accused 'broke and bitter' before deaths
Posted On: Tuesday, 9 May 2006
[NZ Herald] Hours after killing two Feilding pensioners, David Konia went to his Seventh Day Adventist Church and asked for a lift to hospital to get medication for schizophrenia, a court heard yesterday. Konia, 53, unemployed, of Feilding, has... more...


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