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Schools are more likely to benefit than lose

Schools are more likely to benefit rather than lose from new venue expenses

The Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand is outraged at suggestions that pubs and clubs - and eventually schools - will lose out when new gaming laws come into effect.

"The industry is getting plenty of money, and the publicans receive the most. It is outrageous to suggest that $264 million per year is insufficient for pubs and clubs to run gaming machines," says John Stansfield, CEO of the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF).

"What is happening is a change of funding from a progressive taxation system - where the rich pay more and the poor pay less - to this backdoor way of a regressive tax system, so that the poorest are paying the lion's share of school's costs. Mr English would be better looking into this rather than recycling press statements on behalf of the gambling industry," says Mr Stansfield.

"We should not waste our time or pity on the spectre of starving publicans, but rather look for wholesome and sustainable ways of ensuring the best quality of education in New Zealand," says Mr Stansfield.

"You can't achieve this if you rely on the destruction by the gambling industry to support our schools," says Mr Stansfield.

"Our communities and our schools are far too dependent on pokies. This should be funded out of taxation rather than pokies. We are much better off to get behind our schools, the way we did before an influx of pokies hit our community," says Mr Stansfield.

"Pokies in pubs and clubs have robbed communities of $1.02 billion. This money could have improved the education we provide for our children, saved families from the horror of crime, neglect and domestic violence, and reliance on food-banks which is typically forced by problem gambling."

ENDS

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