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Govt should not be giving grants to gambling ind.

Govt should not be giving grants to gambling industry

Green Gambling Spokesperson Sue Bradford today said it was unbelievable that a Government agency, let alone one headed by Jim Anderton, had granted $100,000 to a distributor of pokie machines.

During questions in the House today, it emerged that Industry New Zealand has made a grant of $100,000 to a South Island pokie distribution company, Gaming Machine Distributors Limited, for the electronic monitoring of non-casino gaming machines.

"Why is a private company, which directly profits from the suffering and misery caused by gambling, receiving public money? Why can't this company pay its own way?" asked Ms Bradford.

"I am also concerned that the company is being paid to conduct monitoring which might become a legal obligation under the Responsible Gambling Bill. Are taxpayers expected to bail out all companies with increased compliance costs?

"The Greens recognise the huge social, economic and public health problems caused by gambling. We have pushed hard for a moratorium on new gaming machines, a gradual reduction in the number of existing machines, and a re-channelling of profits away from private hands to the wider community.

"Far from having the stomach to tackle the blight of gambling head-on, this Government seems hell-bent on aiding and abetting the profiteers of the gaming industry at the New Zealand taxpayer's expense," she said.

"This is just not on."

ENDS

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