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King Acts Hypocritically by Allowing Bookmaker In

King Acts Hypocritically by Allowing Bookmaker In

Friday 25 Jan 2002 Penny Webster Press Releases -- Economy

ACT Racing Spokesman MP Penny Webster today wrote to Racing Minister Annette King questioning the legality of an Australian bookmaker being allowed to operate in New Zealand.

"Earlier this week the Minister vehemently opposed the idea of bookmakers when I raised it, yet she seems to approve of allowing an Australian bookmaker in.

"If Ms King did not know that Rob Waterhouse will operate at Te Rapa on February 2, she doesn't have a handle on her portfolio.

"If she did know, then she must square this stance with her belief that the TAB monopoly should continue.

"Ms King must urgently clarify the legal position of Mr Waterhouse's licence before he arrives in New Zealand. At the very least, she is guilty of sending out extremely conflicting messages, while protecting an unhealthy monopoly that negatively affects both the racing industry and betting consumers.

"The TAB lost $12 million of racing turnover last year, largely to overseas agencies offering fixed odds and better dividends. Local agencies are feeling the squeeze, which is why they are resorting to taking credit bets.

"If Ms King is happy for Rob Waterhouse - banned from operating as a bookmaker for seventeen years after his involvement in the 1984 Fine Cotton ring-in - to operate out of New Zealand, then there is absolutely no reason why she should not remove the TAB's legislative monopoly and let other players into the field. The status quo is harming the industry and hurting consumers, and Ms King's mixed messages aren't helping," Mrs Webster said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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