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Problem Gambling Foundation persecuted by National

Problem Gambling Foundation persecuted by National for SkyCity stance

The Government needs to urgently reconsider its decision to cut funding to the Problem Gambling Foundation, Green Party gambling spokesperson Denise Roche said today.

The Problem Gambling Foundation has had its funding cut by the Government. This decision follows the Problem Gambling Foundation opposing the Government’s deal with SkyCity. The SkyCity deal will result in an increase in pokie machines and the problems associated with this form of gambling.

“The Government cut to funding for the Problem Gambling Foundation must be seen as payback for its opposition to the SkyCity deal,” Ms Roche said.

“The decision to cut its funding seems to be motivated by the fact that the Problem Gambling Foundation is actually doing its job too well.

“The Problem Gambling Foundation is a highly visible and effective organisation that has hosted several successful international conventions, and has been the strongest voice promoting host responsibility and gambling harm.

“The Problem Gambling Foundation has been, until now, the only organisation in New Zealand big enough to withstand the constant incursions from the gambling sector.

“Smaller problem gambling service providers haven't been able to challenge the gambling industry for fear of losing their funding.

“This decision by the National Government shows that the smaller organisations were correct in their assumption that standing tall against the gambling industry would lead to funding cuts.

“The Problem Gambling Foundation has done a huge amount of work in the last few years in exposing the damage done to our society by pokie machines and those that profit from them,” Ms Roche said.

"National are leaving those affected by problem gambling high and dry.”

Ms Roche also expressed concern at the lack of consultation and hurried way the Problem Gambling Foundation’s funding had been cut.

Ends

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