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Problem gambling at the expense of the poor

Problem gambling at the expense of the poor, says Problem Gambling Foundation

The Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand is appalled at suggestions that gambling creates more good than harm.

"The Gaming Association of New Zealand seems prepared to accept the current level of problem gambling in New Zealand, and with it, the high levels of crime, suicide, poverty and reliance on foodbanks - all of which are a direct result from pokies," says John Stansfield, CEO of the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF).

"The Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand can happily appreciate the good side of gambling. It is the negative side and all its social costs that concern us. There is nothing wrong with someone having a wee flutter: it is when the flutter creates suffering for the individual, their whanau, children and others that creates the problem," says Mr Stansfield.

"The damage of gambling far outweighs the good. This is a position borne by the Australian Productivity Commission. The harm is visited on the poorest communities, where the Gaming Association has sited their machines," says Mr Stansfield.

"The net effect of pokie grants when applied to core health, education and social services is a regressive taxation system, whereby the poorest communities pay more."

"Rather than denying a serious problem exists, the Gaming Association should join forces with the Ministry of Health and organisations like the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand who are committed to eliminating the harm caused by gambling."

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