Stand on illegal casinos congratulated
Wednesday 31st August 2005
Department’s stand on illegal casinos congratulated
“The Department of Internal Affairs should be congratulated for eradicating an exploitative illegal casino,” says John Stansfield, CEO of the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand.
“The Department has proven that the Gambling Act is protecting New Zealanders from gambling harms, and severely punishing wrong-doers,” says Mr Stansfield.
“Fines in this area need to be robust to show to others that illegal gambling is not an acceptable or easy way to make money.
“Everyone knows profits for running a gambling operation can be, and are, enormous as they don’t cover the real costs of gambling including domestic violence, poverty and reliance on foodbanks. Gambling problems are taking food out of families’ mouths, shoes off children’s feet and breaking up homes,” says Stansfield.
Each year over 5000 New Zealanders are convicted of gambling-related crimes, and it is the taxpayer who ultimately pays.
“The economic, social and cultural costs to the community are huge,” he says.
Gambling affects more than individuals. For every person with a gambling problem, seven people are affected. These people are whanau, children, friends, employers and the wider community.
“The Gambling Industry should see what a privileged position they are in. Their monopoly over gambling operations means they have the power to prevent gambling harm and should therefore show a higher duty of care.”