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Papakura wins with pokie licence suspension

Press Release

Papakura wins with pokie licence suspension

“The Gambling Commission is to be commended for closing down the Whitehouse Tavern. However, it is very disappointing that it is not for longer,” says Kataraina Tuhaka, South Auckland community worker for the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF).

“The original decision by the Secretary of the Department of Internal Affairs was to suspend the Whitehouse’s operators licence for one month, which was reduced to seven days when a small amount of the misappropriated funds were recovered. The Gambling Commission reduced this to four days on appeal. Four days suspension of licence for over $30,000 of misused funds seems incredibly light,” says Ms Tuhaka.

“There are too many pokies in the Papakura area. Any reduction in numbers, even if it is only for a short period, is welcome indeed,” says Ms Tuhaka.

“I find it difficult to understand how a trust that has misused a significant amount of community money through unjustified overseas travel, non-complying grants and unlawful political contributions could get off so lightly,” she says.

“Papakura is a low-income area that has a lot of gambling-related crime, and there are a lot of our Maori people gambling. You can really see the effects of it with the increase in food parcels given out to families, children being left in cars or at home while their parents gamble, and a lot of Maori women on the pokies,” she says.

“Its bad enough that pokies are doing so much harm in our community, but its even worse when those in charge of distributing profits are abusing their positions of trust.”

Ends


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Eliminating harm caused by gambling
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© 2006 Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand



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