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Victory for the people of Manukau

...Press Release...

December 14, 2007

Victory for the people of Manukau

The days when pokie trusts could hoodwink councils into meekly accepting the harm they are doing to communities are well and truly over says the Problem Gambling Foundation.

CEO John Stansfield says that last nights adoption of a sinking lid policy on pokies by the Manukau City Council happened despite threats from the gambling industry that funding would dry up.

"This decision is a reflection of the growing contempt the public has for those involved in owning pokies.

"Whole communities are speaking out about the damage being done by pokies and councillors are listening to them.

"Auckland City, Christchurch City and Manukau City are the three largest in the country. Residents in these cities have spoken and the councils have listened and acted to protect their communities.

"A number of smaller councils have done the same thing and it is only a matter of time before the rest of them follow suit."

Mr Stansfield says that recent research carried out for the Health Sponsorship Council confirmed that the majority of people thought pokie funding of community and sporting activities did more harm than good.

"People are waking up to the fact that it is ridiculous to have to seek pokie funding to deal with problems caused by the machines in the first place," he says.

"The pokie trusts are seen as distant, out of touch and self-serving.

"It is really heartening to see the Manukau Council set a long term goal of having their communities free of dependency on pokie funds.

"The government needs to play its part by replacing this funding in the way they did with the tobacco industry.

"Tobacco companies have become pariahs as the harm they peddle has become recognised and it is now widely considered unethical to invest in tobacco.

"Gambling is rapidly becoming seen in the same light."


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