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Peters irresponsible over Gambling Bill

Peters irresponsible over Responsible Gambling Bill

Winston Peters’ claim the Responsible Gambling Bill will centralise the distribution of gaming machine profits shows he has not read the legislation, Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins says.

Mr Peters makes the claims in a letter to ‘All concerned New Zealanders’, predicting serious consequences for sports, cultural and service organisations.

The letter fails to say where Mr Peters’ sourced the information, Mr Hawkins said.

“I’d like him to point out to me where in the Bill it says the intention is to centralise the distribution of gaming machine money,” Mr Hawkins said.

“Certainly I have countered the suggestion many times in the House, in press releases from my office and in speeches on the subject,” he said.

The Responsible Gambling Bill is currently before Parliament awaiting its second reading. It preserves the current arrangements where societies make grants to the community from funds raised by non-casino gaming machines.

“Assuming Parliament does not change the Bill, societies will continue to be responsible for the distribution of profits to the community from such machines,” Mr Hawkins said.

Mr Peters had not bothered to familiarise himself with the legislation, he said.

“He might try the excellent Internal Affairs website for starters.

“Mr Peters is trying to scare the many committed community organisations that benefit from gaming machine money and do wonderful work in the community,” Mr Hawkins said.

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