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Time to examine political addiction to gambling

13 February 2008

Time to examine political addiction to gambling profits

Green Party MP Sue Bradford is hosting the launch of a hard-hitting critique of gambling and its impact on politics at the Beehive Theatrette at 3.30pm tomorrow, Thursday 14 February.

The book "Gambling, Freedom and Democracy", by well-respected Auckland University academic Associate Professor Peter Adams, examines the relationships between the profits of gambling and all those who benefit from them, including public agencies and politicians.

"With the Gambling Amendment Bill currently being considered by Parliament at the moment this book couldn't be more timely," Ms Bradford says.

"I hope all MPs with an interest in the impacts of gambling on society - and on Government and politicians - will come to the launch, and read the book.

"The reliance of community organisations, local government, some politicians and Government itself on the profits of gambling is an issue of immensely topical significance for New Zealand.

"Pokies continue to be a scourge on our communities, destroying the lives of individuals, their families and at times their employers too, while at the same time a whole network of organisations support the maintenance of pokies because the institutions themselves are addicted to the profits from them."

The Green Party is calling on the Government and other parties to support major amendments to the Gambling Amendment Bill to allow local communities greater control over pokie machines in their districts, and to enable more accountability in how pokie funding is allocated and distributed.

"Any political party which pays even lip service to social responsibility should be doing everything it can to reduce the impact of gambling harm in New Zealand. It is high time that Labour, and other parties, ended the deliberate social hazard we are creating through our political addiction to the proceeds of gambling."

Sue Bradford will be speaking at the launch of 'Gambling, Freedom and Democracy', 3.30pm Thursday 14 February, Beehive Theatrette. Media are welcome to attend.


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