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Gamblers may miss out

Press Release

Gamblers may miss out

Debbie Edwards from SkyCity called for a 25% reduction in funding available for problem gambling treatment providers in a hearing before the Gambling Commission this morning.

"Problem gamblers who have already paid for their treatment though SkyCity casino may miss out on receiving it," says John Stansfield, CEO for the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF).

“I am shocked and outraged by the naked greed by a company whose profits reached $229.5 million (EBIT) in the last financial year, wanting to save $620,000 which is peanuts compared to their massive earnings, and deny treatment to those they had harmed,” said Mr Stansfield.

“I guess they don’t want people to get better. They make more money that way,” he said.

Dave Macpherson of Gambling Watch says, “They admitted that they had been forced to exclude 600 patrons during the last year that had self-identified a gambling problem.”

“Which of those 600 people would be denied treatment from these funding cuts?” says Mr Macpherson.

The suggested funding cuts are also a concern to John Wong, National Manager for Asian Services at PGF. “Which venue causes more harm for Asian people? It’s the casino, who wants to reduce their levy payments by 25%!” says Mr Wong.

“SkyCity should really pay more, because the majority of casino patrons are Asians who lose $4050 on average, compared with $900 for non-Asians. This request is too much for us to bear,” says Mr Wong.

“We have made great steps in Chinese and Korean communities. More people are able to talk about problem gambling and more community leaders will work with us. SkyCity’s suggestion is unreasonable and disastrous” says Samson Tse, Director of Asian Services.

“SkyCity needs to wake up to the harm being caused, and quit squabbling about the tiny amount they are required to pay for treatment,” says Stansfield.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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