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National Pulling the Trigger for Increased Inequality

National Pulling the Trigger for Increased Inequality

New Zealand First says the Government should be embarrassed for contributing to inequality, given Auckland Council research shows that gambling is increasing inequality.

“The Government’s dodgy Sky City deal which increased the number of pokie machines was a clear sign they do not appreciate the damage caused by pokie machines,” says Spokesperson for Social Policy/Welfare Asenati Lole-Taylor.

“Grant funding from gambling proceeds is not being reflected in Auckland’s most deprived areas, such as Otara-Papatoetoe and Māngere-Otahuhu – despite the fact that these areas are hit hard by gambling addiction.

“New Zealand First has maintained that gaming grants should be distributed in communities where the need is greatest - instead wealthy areas receive most of the money.

“This has happened because provisions for distributing pokie grants in the Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill are weak and flimsy. There has been no urgency from the Government in addressing this issue.

“It’s clear that people with the means and knowledge to prepare applications for grants are more likely to be successful.

“The best way to stem social damage caused by pokie machines is to limit the number and ensure that gambling proceeds are redistributed within the specific communities they came from.

“How typical of National to believe that it’s okay to take money from the poor and give it to the rich,” says Mrs Lole-Taylor.


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