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Alliance Wants Moratorium On Pokies

19 February 2002 Media Statement

Alliance Wants Moratorium On Pokies

“The Alliance welcomes the introduction today into Parliament of the Responsible Gambling Bill which shifts the focus from individual pathology of problem gambling to a comprehensive public health approach to curbing over-consumption,” said Alliance Health spokesperson Phillida Bunkle.

“However it is essential that the Responsible Gambling Bill includes a moratorium on pokies,” said Phillida Bunkle.

“The figures are shocking, in the last three months of last year alone the number of pokies outside casinos went up by 951 to over 21,000.”

“It is clear that pokie operators know that we are opposed to the unrestricted spread of gambling and are rushing to beat any restriction that may be imposed.

“The Alliance will be introducing an SOP to bring in a moratorium on non-casino poker machines starting today.”

“In the last year, on average, every man, woman and child lost nearly $400 gambling. That’s $1.5 billion. Most people can do this without harm but a minority cannot.”

“People deserve the help of the state to deal with their gambling issues. That is why the Alliance pressed for, and had accepted in the Bill, a public health approach to this problem.“

“There is no evidence that poker machines or casinos add to the economic development of New Zealand, on the contrary an Australian study of a town with 180,000 residents saw net job losses of more than 200 jobs a year from the over consumption on machine gambling. This is why we need to fully investigate the costs and benefits of the gambling industry,” Ms Bunkle said.

ENDS

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