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Greens aim to end pokie rorts

30 August 2008

Greens aim to end pokie rorts

The Green Party has released its updated Gambling Policy on the eve of New Zealand's Gamble-Free Day - September 1 - stating that parts of the community sector need assistance to overcome addiction to pokies, just as individual gambling addicts do.

"The Green Party is committed to doing everything it can to reduce the harm gambling - and in particular pokies - is doing to our communities," Green Party Gambling Spokesperson Sue Bradford says.

"The proliferation of pokies over the last fifteen years or so has devastated many individuals, their families, workplaces and communities," Ms Bradford says.

"We have also seen an increasing reliance by community, sporting and service organisations on the pokies. Parts of the community sector itself have become addicted to gambling, just as some individuals are.

"The Green Party is committed to working towards:

* A law change so local councils have the power, in consultation with local residents, to eliminate pub-based pokies in their district; ultimately we will work towards legislation to get rid of pub pokies altogether.

* More transparent and fair distribution systems for pokie profits, for as long as they exist in our communities.

* Placing limits on the amount of pokie grants that can go to racing purposes, and replace racing stakes with racing infrastructure as a legitimate purpose.

* Taking steps to mitigate the impact of ending pub pokie grants on community organisations by establishing a transitional fund of $150m, while meanwhile increasing Government support to those groups who refuse to take pokie money on ethical grounds.

* Speeding up the adoption of harm minimisation measures in the gambling industry.

* Ensure gaming machine operators pay the full costs of mitigating the harm done by their products.

"We believe the Gambling Act 2003 or the subsequent amendments in front of Parliament currently go anywhere near far enough in dealing with the harm being done."

The Green Party's full Gambling Policy is available at http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/gambling

ends

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