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Govt silences casino deal critic by axing funding

Govt silences casino deal critic by axing funding


The Problem Gambling Foundation is being forced to shut its doors after losing government funding because it has vocally opposed National’s dodgy convention centre for pokies deal, Labour’s Internal Affairs spokesperson Trevor Mallard says.

“Staff will this morning be told the Foundation has lost its Ministry of Health funding and will close its 12 offices nationwide. The Foundation, which has counselled about 25,000 people over the past 20 years, will also end its temporary services in 11 other locations

“It’s funding will end in July and most of the Foundation’s staff are expected to lose their jobs. It will only be funded to provide particular services to the Asian community.

“The Foundation has made itself particularly unpopular with the Government around the SkyCity convention centre deal. This decision is a blatant attempt by the Government to silence its critics.

“The Ministry of Health has said it has received a ‘superior contract bid’ but as the Foundation is the largest provider of problem gambling services in Australasia, it is hard to imagine a more qualified organisation to do this work.

“The Government’s deal with SkyCity stinks and the public knows it. An additional 350 pokie machines in Auckland will cause significant harm to the community.

“The Problem Gambling Foundation has spoken out about the dangers of this deal and are now paying the price.

“Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne and the Ministry of Health need to explain the reasons for this outrageous decision,” Trevor Mallard says.

ends

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