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PGF Congratulates Rick Barker


...Press Release...
March 6, 2008
PGF Congratulates Rick Barker

Problem Gambling Foundation Chief Executive John Stansfield today congratulated Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker for highlighting the problem of Racing receiving an increasing share of Pokie grants. Minister Barker addressed the pokie industry calling for more transparency and more observation of the sprit of the law. The Racing industry, itself a gambling business, has been prospering at the expense of people playing machines in our lower socio economic areas and it has crept up on New Zealanders.

The Department of Internal Affairs latest figures show pokie money going to racing went up five fold to $10 million between 2000 and 2005.

Now it is very clear just  two years later Racing is getting almost $1.8 Million per month or $22 million per year in 2007. This has happened when pokie trust have been telling community service providers and groups, that there is reducing avilability of funds because of the application of gambling machine sinking lid policies by Territorial Local Authorities. It is euphimistic to call this "not being transparent". It is Trusts either being misleading or believing their own spin.

The situation is a disgrace. Racing, like any other industry, should attract its customers to its events, and if this does not work, then like the wool growers of New Zealnd who have given this country a powerful kick-start, adjust. We do not allow any other industry to cover up its lack of marketability through pokie SMPs (Supplementary Machine Payments).


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