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Gambling to Donate

DCM Bulletin

Gambling to Donate

Thursday 11 March

While the generosity of donations for the people of Christchurch is very heartening, Downtown Community Ministry (DCM) questions the appropriateness of the role played by NZ Lotteries.

Stephanie McIntyre, director of DCM, says, “On this sad occasion, the New Zealand public was encouraged to gamble.”

NZ Lotteries reported a huge response to the special draw, with many people buying extra Lotto tickets for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.

“While Lotto is less socially harmful than pokie machines, Lotto ‘normalised’ gambling in our communities, paving the way for pokie machine gambling. All gambling forms have had a huge negative impact on our communities,” says Stephanie.

Pokies are concentrated in poorer areas, causing costs to fall disproportionately on people who can’t afford them. In low income areas there is one pokie machine for every 75 people. But, in high income areas there is one machine per 465 people.

“For every dollar that is given to a community through a pokie-funded trust, three dollars has been lost from the community. This is a phenomenal cost to our communities, and leads to further economic, social and health problems,” says Stephanie.

The Coalition of People before Pokies suggests several ways that you can bring this matter to the attention of Parliament, such as contacting MPs and letting them know your views on pokies and the “People before Pokies” bill.

For more information, please visit: www.issues.co.nz/peoplebeforepokies. The Coalition also has postcards which you can fill out and drop in the post, freepost included.


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