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Changes signalled for Pokie Machines

24th September 2013

Changes signalled for Pokie Machines

Maori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell welcomes the discussion document on changes to class 4 gambling released by Minister Chris Tremain today but is cautious about changing the current venue cost payment system.

“I want to be very sure we do not establish a new system which encourages more pokie machines or more profits” he said.

Mr Flavell says he has been working with Minister Chris Tremain on reforms to the class 4 gambling sector, and many of the proposals released are the direct result of negotiations over the Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Act 2013.

“I am pleased that we have set the agenda on gambling reform. The proposals recommended in this document outline the basis of my discussions with the Minister, and some of the changes that I am pursuing. Now is the time for our communities to have their say.”

“Increasing the transparency of the grant system; increasing the proportion of the proceeds allocated as grants; and the proceeds returned to the communities that generated them – these initiatives were all taken from my Private Members Bill on Gambling Harm Reduction.”

“While my original Bill was changed significantly after select committee review, I was clear that I would only continue with the Bill if further changes followed to reduce gambling harm. This consultation document is the first step towards making changes to both regulation and legislation, and that is a good thing.”

“I support more money going back to the community, and particularly to the communities from which the proceeds were generated. I also support measures which increase transparency within the system.”

“Clearly I want reform which benefits families and communities, and I look forward to seeing submissions from organisations with similar objectives. This discussion document must lead to reform and elimination of the social hazards caused by gambling on our whanau and communities.”

Our communities have been gutted by the harm caused by problem gambling and we will not resile from speaking out about that.

ENDS

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