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Govt must consult racing industry on gambling bill

Govt must consult racing industry on gambling bill

"The Government's eleventh hour move to deny racing clubs access to gaming machine grants under the Responsible Gambling Bill is totally irresponsible," says National's Racing Spokesman Lindsay Tisch.

"This Bill will allow racing clubs and the T.A.B. to operate their own gaming machines, but the Government's rumoured amendment won't let them access off-site machine profits.

"Many small clubs, who won't operate their own machines, will also continue to rely on the proceeds from gaming trusts to remain viable and provide facilities which many community organisations use.

"If an amendment is racing clubs around the country will be undermined and done out of up to $6m. The Racing Minister has already admitted that he didn't know the extent to which clubs depend on gaming machine grants.

"The racing industry is important to New Zealand's economy. The Government can't rush through this amendment without consultation.

"For the Government to say galloping and trotting clubs can have their own gaming machines, retain the profits but not source funds elsewhere shows little appreciation and understanding of the economic challenges they face.

"Any changes to the Bill that affect the racing industry's ability to operate in a fiercely competitive gaming environment should not be considered," said Mr Tisch.

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