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Govt needs to revisit its soft stance on gambling

16 November 2012

Govt needs to revisit its soft stance on gambling

The Government needs to review its decision to allow frequent fliers, including high rolling gamblers, with South China Airlines to dodge visa checks, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

While New Zealand officials have voiced concerns regarding waiving visa checks, Sky City chief executives have been working with China Southern Airlines to bring VIP gamblers to Auckland with greater ease.

“Instead of making it easier for high stakes gamblers to gain entry to New Zealand – some of whom may be involved in money laundering – the Government should be taking a precautionary approach,” said Mrs Turei.

“By loosening our immigration rules for very wealthy individuals, New Zealand risks opening up its borders to criminal activity.”

Government officials have warned that 'imported criminality from China is being is being ignored in visa decisions’.
“Rather than ignore this advice, the Government needs to listen to officials concerns,” said Mrs Turei.
“Instead of pushing through exemptions that may have the effect of making it easier for criminal gangs to launder money through our casinos, the Government should consider tightening up laws in this area.

The Government should support the Green Party’s Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act (Application to Casinos) Amendment.

“This legislation is a solution to the problem of casinos being used by criminals to money launder. It also aims to provide some form of redress for those who have had money stolen from them and squandered at New Zealand casinos.

“This legislation is currently before the House and implements systems to detect and prevent problem gamblers and money launderers, and aims to return ill-gotten casino profits to those who have been affected,” said Mrs Turei.

“Unfortunately National currently intends voting against this legislation.”

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