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Community groups deserve answers on Gambling Bill

Community groups deserve an answer on Gambling Bill

The National Party is challenging Trevor Mallard to give a straight answer to questions about changes to the Responsible Gambling Bill.

"The Greens have been wielding an inordinate amount of power on this Bill which will see important community groups losing their funding," according to the National Party Internal Affairs spokeswoman Judith Collins.

"Just yesterday I asked Mr Mallard whether the Government is in discussions with the Greens about making changes to the bill and whether they hold any sway over increases to gaming taxes.

"But Mr Mallard has refused to answer,' says Ms Collins.

To support their case the Greens have produced a statement made more than a year ago by Ms Collins in her former role as Chair of the Casino Control Authority.

Then she claimed, "massive fraud flourished through a network of sham sports and social clubs, many controlled by publicans and their mates."

"I'm pleased my comments have embarrassed the Government into tightening the rules and starting to enforce them," she says.

"I'm now more than happy with the way major Community Gaming Trusts run their affairs in an open and transparent process and was particularly pleased to attend the launch of the Charity Gaming Association's Code of Practice.

"National's deeply concerned the Government is not disclosing its plans for the gaming industry, and in particular its plans (pushed by the Greens) to change the way gaming funds are distributed to community groups," Ms Collins says.

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