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Some support, some opposition to gambling Bill

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Latest Political News | Thursday June 20 2013 7:36

Some support, some opposition to gambling Bill

UPDATED 9.26AM - The Hospitality Association and Government wants to drive a few bad eggs out of the pokie industry.

The Government has announced a range of new regulations for the non-casino sector, which will see a clampdown on rogue operators who have conflicts of interest, or rort where the proceeds from pokie machines go.

Hospitality New Zealand chief executive Bruce Robertson says most operators are doing what they are meant to in a fair and reasonable way.

"Some are using the system ... to try and push funds into their particular area of interest.

"We need to have transparency in terms of the way grants are made. We also need to have most of those funds going back to the community where they're raised."

Bruce Robertson is happy with the proposed changes, but the devil is always in the detail.

He says the way venues get paid at the moment is based on actual and reasonable expenses, and that is complicated.

"How many minutes were spent banking the money? How many minutes were spent cleaning the gaming room? That's a bureaucratic nightmare.

"We're looking for that to be simplified for the operators, and also to be simplified for the Department of Internal Affairs in terms of auditing."

Greens not swayed by changes to Bill

While National and the Maori Party may have reached an accommodation on reforms of gambling laws but the Green Party is not having a bar of them.

Green co-leader Russel Norman says his party won't be backing Mr Flavell's now seriously amended Member's Bill.

"Fundamentally, the Bill got so watered down in the deal he did with the Government that it won't achieve its goals now, which is reducing harm from gambling.

"I mean, that's the bottom line."

Salvation Army keen for MPs to cross the floor on amendments

The Salvation Army is calling for courageous political leadership to reverse the weakening of the Gambling Harm Reduction Bill.

Major Campbell Roberts says there is still time to get things back on track. 

"This is a matter where we actually think that some people should cross the floor of the house. 

"There are amendments that can strengthen this Bill again, bring it back to its original intention and actually deal with gambling harm in New Zealand once and for all." 

Campbell Roberts says there is no room for a weak-kneed approach to the gambling issues in our communities.

Photo / NZ Herald

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