Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Don't gamble on a happy Christmas

Don't gamble on a happy Christmas

Green MP Sue Bradford is warning New Zealanders not to gamble on a happy Christmas.

"Despite the increased financial pressures of the season, gambling does not offer an easy way out. In fact, gambling to improve Christmas for your family will only make this a season of ill-will," said Ms Bradford, Green Party Gambling Spokesperson.

"The lure of a 'big win' to have the 'best Christmas ever' is a cruel temptation, and initial losses end up being chased, leaving the gambler with little or nothing to put bread on the table - let alone presents under the tree."

The Problem Gambling Helpline has indicated there is a spike in calls from those in difficulty because of gambling during the festive season. The 0800 number has been staffed on Christmas day for the past few years, and had a record number of call last year - 24 in 2002, up from 10 in 2001.

This year, Ms Bradford fears New Zealand will break this shameful record. "The recently passed gambling laws designed to put the community in control of pokie machine growth have failed to address their vampiric influence."

Many communities have seen an explosion of pokie machines in the last year. Figures provided by GamblingWatch indicate that the Districts of Carterton, Wairoa and Manuwatu have seen an increase of over 40 percent in pokie machine numbers in the past 12 months.

"These communities are hardly affluent and are more at risk of developing serious social problems, compared to say, Queenstown."

Ms Bradford concluded by calling for a repeal of the 'grandfather' clause in the Gambling Act that sees new pokie outlets limited to nine machines, while those licensed before October 2001 have no such limits. This would remove 7,317 pokie machines from the community, from a present total of 22,971.

The clause, according to Ms Bradford, "was a silver-plated opportunity for established gambling operators to profit from, and prey on, the community."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Case For Nationalising Our Urban Bus Services

When it comes to funding and managing public transport, should local government or central government bear most of the responsibility for delivering a quality service? Ratepayers or taxpayers? Those basic questions re-surfaced yesterday, after the government announced its intention to scrap the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) imposed by the last National government in 2013. That model had required councils to use private contractors to run the buses, via a cut-throat competitive tendering process...


Privacy Commissioner: Public Input Sought To Inform Privacy Rules For Biometrics
Privacy Commissioner Michael Webster is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on the use of biometric information in Aotearoa New Zealand... More>>

National: Food Prices Climb Taking Kiwis Backwards
Kiwi families continue to battle runaway food prices, National’s Finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says... More>>

Transport & Infrastructure: Have Your Say On The Future Of Inter-regional Passenger Rail In New Zealand

The Transport and Infrastructure Committee has opened an inquiry into the future of inter-regional passenger rail in New Zealand. The aim of the inquiry is to find out what the future could hold for inter-regional passenger rail... More>>

Government: Creating Sustainable Public Transport For All
Workers and public transport users are at the heart of the new Sustainable Public Transport Framework, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today... More>>

Government: Tax Break To Boost Long-term Rental Supply
The Government is encouraging more long-term rental options by giving developers tax relief for as long as the homes are held as long-term rentals, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced... More>>

National: NZ Migrant Arrivals Hit Lowest Mark Since 1990s
Today’s net migration figures show that Labour has failed to deliver the desperately needed skilled migrants they promised, meaning labour shortages will persist into the future, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says... More>>




InfoPages News Channels