Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Gambling Act balances harm with benefits

Gambling Act balances harm with benefits

Today’s passing of the Gambling Act will go a long way towards balancing the potential harm involved in gambling with benefits to the community, says Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins.

The Gambling Act was passed this afternoon after its third reading in Parliament.

Mr Hawkins said gambling was a complex area and passing this legislation had been a major achievement.

“This has been especially so with the deliberate spread of misinformation by both the Greens and the National Party that gambling profits would be centralised.

“Despite constant denials from my office, these groups continued to beat that drum when they had no basis for believing it was true.

“This was reprehensible, political deceit pure and simple, aimed at scaring the many hardworking groups in our community who currently benefit from the proceeds of gambling.”

Mr Hawkins said the challenge when working on the Bill had been to balance harm against benefits. “I believe the Act achieves a good balance. “

The Act’s four main objectives were to control the growth of gambling, reduce harm caused by gambling, ensure gambling raises funds for the community; and ensure community involvement in decisions about access to gambling.

The Act establishes a risk-based approach to gambling, Mr Hawkins said. “On the one hand, it recognises smaller activities like raffles and housie pose little community risk and therefore allows groups to run that sort of fundraising without a licence, provided the rules are stuck to.

“On the other hand, it focuses on pokies, because this is the area of most risk.”

Mr Hawkins said the Act did not centralise gaming machine fund distribution, but tightened transparency and accountability to limit opportunities for dishonesty and ensure gambling money benefited the community.

Electronic monitoring of all pokie machines would be required within the next three and a half years. As well as providing that there would be no more casinos the Act also contains measures to control the pokie numbers, if that was what communities wanted. Any venue that did not hold a gaming machine licence on 17 October 2001 must obtain Territorial Authority (TA) consent to operate. This meant a TA could refuse to allow any new gaming machine venues to operate in their area.

Mr Hawkins said an important aspect of the Act was a public health approach to reduce harm caused by gambling.

A levy, set after consultation, would cover the cost of a public health strategy to this end, with each part of the sector paying according to the harm its products caused.

The Lotteries Commission would be able to sell relatively harmless products by way of remote interactive gambling, Mr Hawkins said.

“A variety of provisions, in this and other Acts, mean that the Commission will not offer highly addictive products,” Mr Hawkins said.

Interactive gambling was not a new market in New Zealand.

“For instance, the TAB has run remote interactive gambling on the Internet since 1998,” Mr Hawkins said.

Another key feature of the Act was the inclusion of aspects of racing, acknowledging that racing was a gambling product as well as an important industry for New Zealand.

Mr Hawkins said he believed everyone gained when gambling was honest and transparent, when harm was minimised, and when profits benefited the community.

“I am confident that the Bill strikes an appropriate balance and will significantly improve the current system,” Mr Hawkins said.

Mr Hawkins thanked the many members of the public who had made submissions on the Bill during its gestation, as well as community and industry representatives for their input over the several years since the Bill was first mooted.

Rarely had a piece of legislation been so transparently worked through, Mr Hawkins said. “During the process, the public has been kept informed of the Bills process, with wide consultation undertaken and numerous documents, including Cabinet papers and minutes available on the Internal Affairs website throughout.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election