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State sponsored gambling on the way

Judith Collins MP National Party Internal Affairs Spokeswoman

09 September 2003

State sponsored gambling on the way

National Party Internal Affairs spokeswoman Judith Collins is accusing the Government of laying the foundations for state sponsored gambling with the help of the so-called pro-family party United Future.

"A supplementary order paper to the Gambling Bill essentially writes a blank cheque for the Lotteries Commission to get involved in the running of pokie machines and internet gambling.

"They are the two most addictive forms of gambling, this is tantamount to the Government getting involved in the retail end of cigarette and alcohol sales.

"Rank and file United Future members should now be applying pressure on their leadership to explain why they have signed up to endorse such a patently anti-family piece of legislation," says Ms Collins.

"The National Party is also concerned with a number of other aspects to the Gambling Bill, which we fear will allow Labour to further politicise the industry.

"There's a real risk that the Government will stack the new Gaming Commission with members who have a particular political bias and that will leave some operators questioning the independence of the disputes process.

"Government appointees will be making all the decisions," Ms Collins says.

"The Supplementary Order Paper would also extinguish the rights of operators to appeal decisions through the courts.

"Given these anti-family changes it's now clear why the word 'responsible' has been deleted from the new look bill," Ms Collins.

Ends


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