June 19, 2013
Concern over gutted gambling bill
Opposition parties will be watching closely whether a deal over Te Ururoa Flavell’s Gambling Harm Reduction Bill preserves its key principles.
The Māori Party MP and Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain are today unveiling changes to the bill, which was extensively modified by a select committee.
Manurewa MP Louisa Wall says Labour’s continued support may depend on the balance struck between the contributions gambling profits make to the communities the money comes from, and the harm caused by gambling addiction.
"Underlying all of it was the fact that particularly for Māori and Pacific, our rates of gambling are much higher than anybody else's and it obviously causes huge harm to our communities, so if that is lost from Te Ururoa's bill, then I think there is some problems with it," she says.
National baulked at Mr Flavell’s plan to require 80 percent of pokie profits to go back into the immediate community, and he was also unhappy at provisions to give councils power to reduce or ban pokies in areas where problem gambling was a major issue.
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